Federal law requires websites that collect information from children to provide consumers with online privacy policies. Although financial institutions and health care providers are also required to create consumer privacy policies, federal law does not typically require those institutions to post their privacy policies online. In 2003 California became the first state to require that a website that collects personal information about state residents for the purpose of providing goods or services for personal, family, or household purposes post a general policy describing their privacy practices. Since 2003, most websites that collect information – whether or not required to do so by law – post an online privacy policy.

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  • Does the privacy policy capture the main ways in which the organization P collects information?
  • Does the privacy policy capture all the ways in which the organization shares information with third parties?
  • Does the privacy policy discuss data security? If so, is the level of security indicated appropriate?
  • Would the privacy policy interfere with a possible merger, acquisition, or sale of organization assets?
  • Would the privacy policy interfere with future ways in which the organization may want to monetize data?
  • Does the privacy policy use terms that might be misunderstood or misinterpreted by a regulator or a plaintiff’s attorney?
  • Does the privacy policy comply with the laws in each jurisdiction in which the organization is subject?
  • Should the privacy policy govern just information collected via the organization’s website, or all information collected by the organization?
  • Does the privacy policy appropriately disclose and discuss network marketing and behavioral advertising?
  • Does the privacy policy need to discuss the tracking that the organization may do of its clients or website visitors?
  • Could the privacy policy be understood by the average consumer?
  • Can the privacy policy be easily viewed by a smartphone or a mobile device?