Reason #1: The Canadian government is proposing consumer-protection legislation in an effort to protect the privacy of consumers. This legislation will allow Canadian citizens to sue companies who do not properly disclose how a user’s personal information is collected on a website, how it’s used and shared. (In the United States, there are currently skeezy lawyers making money by trolling websites looking for sites that aren’t properly disclosing and suing them. Will this happen in Canada? Unsure, however, if there’s a buck to be made…)
In learning about all of this I wanted to ensure my business was protected, so down the rabbit hole I went. I knew also, that what I found would be of interest to my clients, so I wanted to emerge with some practical information to pass on to you.
The result was about 20 hours of my time spent reading (super) dry material, reaching out to various lawyers, researching and vetting third-party policy providers as well as reaching out to other folks in the industry to see what they were doing for their clients.
Here is what I’ve learned:
Firstly, I’d like to preface all of this by saying, I’m not a lawyer, and none of this is legal advice. It’s merely information that I’ve found that may be helpful, and some suggestions that may work for you.
You’ve got a couple of options:
- Hire a Privacy-specific lawyer. (Anticipate $500+ an hour.)
- Use a third-party policy generator like Termageddon.com or WebsitePolicies.com.
Hiring a privacy-specific lawyer is super expensive. Just to have them review a pre-made document would be several thousands of dollars, so I wasn’t super keen to have them create one from scratch.
I then looked into companies that sell these documents and I found some really interesting options. Two of note are WebsitePolicies.com and Termageddon.com. WebsitePolicies.com is Canadian and Termageddon.com is American, however, has Canadian-specific policies.
I spent a bit of time chatting with owners of both companies, because it was important—obviously—that the calibre of the documents they generated were good, and that the American site wasn’t just, say, swapping “state” for “province”.
With Termageddon.com, you pay an annual $99 USD, but the advantage is your policies will update automatically on your website, so it’s more set-it-and-forget-it. I recommend reaching out to the owner Hans to have him go through the set up with you, as it’s more convoluted than WebsitePolicies.com. I’ve chatted in advance with Hans about this, and he’s more than happy to help anybody who needs it. Super friendly guy.
Regardless of who you choose, you’ll need to get the new policies into your website. If you’re comfortable tackling that on your own, great! You’re off to the races. If you need a hand with that, I’m happy to do that for you, it’ll likely cost around $150 to get it into the site and get the links set up, etc.