Key points to note on Classifieds Disclosure Policy

Owning and operating a classified ads website seems like a good way to gain some serious online traffic and to possibly earn a fairly passive and residual income. However, setting up an online classifieds site takes time and effort, and there are a few behind the scenes details you will not want to forget, namely the site disclosure policy. This is the section where you outline your site’s privacy policy with regard to the collection and use of user information. But what should you include in this section to ensure clarity and understanding? Here are some tips on what to include in your classified site disclosure policy in order to protect yourself and your website users. It is then up to your site users to read and agree to this policy. Even if they fail to read it, you have placed it on the site assuming they will read it. Further use of the site implies their agreement with your policy.

Introduction : Include a brief paragraph indicating that the page contains your privacy policy and disclosures. Explain that site users have the right to maintain personal privacy and that your site company collects limited information for the sole purpose of conducting business. State the date that the policy went into effect and include the date of the most recent update.

Collection and Use of Personal Information : Inform site users about what personal information you collect during registration and/or purchases, including name, address, phone number, e-mail, etc., as well as what financial information the site collects. Be sure to include how this information is used, such as for promotions and communication, as well as order processing. If your classifieds site utilizes cookies or clear GIFs, you will want to include this information, explaining how and why this is done, ensuring customers understand that these are used for tracking purposes with regard to the business end of things, and that the information contains no personal identifiers.

Classifieds Disclosure Policy

Credit Cards and Financial Information : In this section, briefly reiterate how and why you collect this information and whether or not it is stored. Help site users feel at ease by explaining that their financial information is safe thanks to your security practices and will never be shared or misused in any way.
Data Storage and SecurityIf you retain customer or website user data and personal information for any reason, this too should be included in your classified ads site disclosure. Offer up some detailed information about the database or servers used to store this data and give your visitors an overview of how you protect their privacy from security breaches and identity theft.

Selling and Renting of Personal Information : If you want users to feel safe and secure when using your site, be sure to inform them that your company does not rent or sell their personal information to third parties. However, if you do use their personal information in cross-promotions with any partner sites, you will want to disclose this information as well.

Communication and E-mail : Your privacy policy should include a disclaimer stating that registration implies an automatic agreement to receive periodic communication via e-mail or postal mail for the purpose of order processing and follow-up as well as occasional promotional materials. You should also include information on how site users can cancel or opt-out at any time.

Child Privacy Act : Depending on the jurisdiction governing your classifieds site, there may be child privacy laws to consider. If this is the case, it is a good idea to place a disclaimer on your site stating the minimum age of site users and informing parents of your practices with regard to compliance with any child privacy laws. It is a good idea to state that your company does not knowingly collect or solicit information from any child under the stated minimum age requirement, and that your company will automatically delete any information found in opposition to these terms, whether found by administration or upon the request of a parent or legal guardian.

Site Users Use of Personal Information : Unlike many other websites out there, classifieds sites often lead to the disclosure, exchange, and use of personal information by the website users themselves. In this section, you will want to reiterate the right to privacy and explain the responsibilities of all parties involved in any transaction. This means informing users that they can collect and use personal information for the sole purpose of completing site-related transactions. You may also want to reiterate a portion of your Terms & Conditions, restating that you, your site, and any partners, affiliates, and associates hold no liability for the transactions between classifieds site users.

Access, Modification, and Deletion : Explain how site users can contact you or manually access, modify, or delete personal information stored in their account or with your company. You should also explain that you retain enough information, as permitted by governing law, to resolve disputes, enforce policies, and prevent non-compliant users from continuing to use the classifieds site.

Conflict Resolution : Provide website users with information on how to resolve any conflict with your site, users, and any policies. Be sure to note that they should put their grievances in writing or send them via e-mail, and include what information and documentation they should forward to you. Also be sure to include information on which laws govern your site and any conflict resolution. For example, if your business is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, the laws of that state govern your business and any conflict resolution or legal proceedings will occur within that state.

Contact Information : Always state your contact information within your privacy policy. It is a good idea to place this information at the end of the page, but also be sure to offer it under “Conflict Resolution” and any other section where contact may be deemed necessary.

General Disclaimer : The general disclaimer should come at the end of your current privacy policy. This section simply informs users that you reserve the right to modify your privacy policy at any time, at your sole discretion, within the terms of the law, and without notice. It is up to them to refer back to the privacy policy from time to time to ensure they are up-to-date.

Owning and operating an online classifieds website can be fun and exciting, as well as potentially lucrative, But do not forget to take care of those tedious behind-the-scenes tasks such as including a privacy policy and terms and conditions. Using the tips above should help you to set up your classifieds ads site disclosure with ease to protect your interests as well as those of website users.

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