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If you have a website for your New Zealand business, you likely will already be aware of the benefits of a privacy policy for meeting your privacy obligations. However, some online businesses, especially those that need to cater for online privacy laws from multiple countries, may also use a data collection notice alongside their privacy policy. This article will provide four tips for using a data collection notice on your website.

What Is a Data Collection Notice?

Under New Zealand privacy law, you need to tell your customers and website users when you collect personal information and how you use it. Most businesses and websites do this with a privacy policy, a comprehensive legal document outlining how you handle personal information. However, there are other documents you may use in addition to a privacy policy to fulfil this disclosure obligation, especially if you need to meet the requirements of other countries’ privacy laws, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

One of those documents is a data collection notice, which informs data subjects (such as visitors to your website) of the information you collect from them, and what you use it for. This notice can range from a couple of paragraphs to a sizeable document that works in conjunction with your privacy policy. 

Tips For Using a Data Collection Notice

1. Make It Easy To Find

If customers want to find out what personal information you collect from them quickly, they should be able to do so without hassle. Have a link for your data collection notice alongside your privacy policy in your website footer for easy access. Whenever you collect personal information, it would be helpful to include a link to your notice or privacy policy then as well. 

For example, you would add a link to your notice to any: 

  • pop-up boxes asking for email addresses to sign up for your marketing newsletter; or 
  • cookie consent pop-ups. 

2. Link To Your Privacy Policy

It is up to you how you want to structure your website’s legal documents for meeting your privacy obligations. However, some businesses use a data collection notice as a short summary of their more detailed privacy policy. This notice outlines the crucial points of what digital data they collect from their customers. It would also cover any non-personal information that you collect from your website users.

Whatever way you decide to structure your notice, ensure that you include links and references to your privacy policy or privacy statement when appropriate.

For example, sentences like “We collect and use your information in compliance with our privacy policy” would be suitable.

3. Understand What Privacy Laws Apply To Your Website

Operating online means that anyone from across the world can access your website and buy your products if you ship to their location. Accordingly, some countries mandate that their privacy laws apply to anyone who does business with their citizens or uses their data. New Zealand’s own privacy laws do this to an extent, as do the EU’s. 

Therefore, you need to know what laws may apply to your business’ website and take steps to meet those obligations with your privacy policy and data collection notice. They will determine what information you include in these documents.

For example, you may sell your goods and services to residents in the EU from your website. Therefore, the GDPR would apply to you, and you need to meet its requirements for disclosure.

4. Keep Your Data Collection Notice Simple, But Informative

No matter which privacy laws you need to meet, most will require that users can easily understand your data collection notice. It needs to be:

  • transparent;
  • in plain English; and
  • legible.

Use headers and bullet points to structure your notice if it is more detailed and provide a comprehensive description of the information you collect. It should be simple but still get across essential points. Your aim is to prevent confusion and give your users more informed control when collecting their personal data.

Some points your data collection notice should cover include:

  • what personal data you collect;
  • how you collect personal data;
  • your intended usage of data;
  • who has access to that personal data;
  • who you send their data to, particularly if they are overseas;
  • whether any particular laws require this data collection;
  • users’ rights and abilities concerning their privacy;
  • a link to your privacy policy; and
  • contact details of the person who handles privacy issues at your business.

Key Takeaways

You can use a data collection notice in tandem with your privacy policy to provide an informative explanation of your data subjects’ information, both personal and otherwise. This helps you meet your legal requirements. Additionally, customers will appreciate your business for displaying genuine concern about their privacy needs. If you would like more information or help with your data collection notice, contact LegalVision’s data, privacy, and IT lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a data collection notice?

It is a summary of what personal information you collect from your website’s visitors and what you do with it.

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a network of privacy laws that applies to EU residents. It mandates a specific standard for handling their personal information that may apply to your business if you engage with EU customers.

What is the difference between a data collection notice and a privacy policy?

While similar, there are a couple of differences. Some organisations cater their data collection notice towards GDPR regulations and use it as a summary of their more complex privacy policy.

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