When building websites, I am given all of the website content, but more often than not, the privacy policy is not part of this document. As a result I end up looking at the current site and copying the existing text or searching the web for inspiration and writing something brief for the client.

If you are collecting any type of information from your website, such as email for a newsletter or comments on your blog, then you should have a privacy policy in place. But what do you put in there?

Via a great post by Linda at Get Elastic, I found a privacy policy generator. Simply  enter your company details, answer questions by selecting radio buttons and checking off checkboxes that apply and voila. Your privacy policy in HTML or plain text is ready to go.

After a few minutes, this is the policy that was generated for Bluelime Media:

This is the web site of Bluelime Media.
Our postal address is
207-1238 Seymour Street
Vancouver

We can be reached via e-mail at info@bluelimemedia.com
or you can reach us by telephone at 604.561.6287
For each visitor to our Web page, our Web server automatically recognizes no information regarding the domain or e-mail address.
We collect the e-mail addresses of those who post messages to our bulletin board, the e-mail addresses of those who communicate with us via e-mail, no information on consumers who browse our Web page.
With respect to cookies: We do not set any cookies.
If you do not want to receive e-mail from us in the future, please let us know by sending us e-mail at the above address.
With respect to Ad Servers: We do not partner with or have special relationships with any ad server companies.

I don’t think that the wording is great and I think I would remove the info about ad servers. I’m not sure that it’s necessary, but this tool is a great start. Reading through all of the questions, it also made me think more about my website and how it is being used. It might also help your company if you do collect lots of information but aren’t sure if you should inform your users or not.