9 Terms to Include in Your Privacy Policy

A privacy policy should disclose the types of information that a company collects, how that information is used, and with whom that information is shared.

The authors of Privacy Law Answer Book, edited by Jeremy Feigelson (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP), recommend, at a minimum, the following terms:

  1. A description of the personal information that will be collected—for example, a user’s name, email address, phone number, mailing address, or credit card number.
  2. When that personal information will be collected—for example, information may be collected when a user registers for an online account or places an order.
  3. A description of the non-personal information that will be collected—for example, a user’s browser information or IP (Internet Protocol) address.
  4. How that non-personal information will be collected—for example, through the use of cookies or web beacons.
  5. How the collected information will be used—for example, personal information may be used to send the user information about a company’s products or services, and non-personal information may be used to provide targeted advertising by displaying products or advertisements that may be of interest to the user.
  6. Whether the collection of any information is voluntary or mandatory for consumers— for example, if non-personal information is automatically collected via cookies, that is considered mandatory collection.
  7. The categories of third parties with whom the information is shared—for example, information may be shared with a company’s affiliates, outside vendors, or other third parties (this disclosure need not list each third party by name).
  8. Whether and how a user can review or change her personal information—for example, explaining how a user can update her profile or contact a company to request a change or request that information be deleted from the user’s records.
  9. A statement that the privacy policy should not be construed as establishing a contractual relationship.


Privacy Law Answer Book (2017 Edition) Edited by Jeremy Feigelson, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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