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5/24/13 at 04:06 PM 0 Comments

Does Your Church or Ministry Website Have a Privacy Policy?

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Photo: Alan Cleaver - Creative Commons

Today I visited five church websites and noticed that three of them did not have a privacy policy linked from their home page.

Not having a privacy policy can get churches and ministries into trouble. The following infographic by the Australian legal services company Legal 123 explains the legal requirements for websites in Australia. Although the rules are different in other countries, the same principles apply: If you collect personal information from visitors to your website, you should disclose how this information is used.

For example, if your church or ministry website allows people to sign up for an email newsletter, do you explain how email addresses are used? If people can donate through your website, do you explain if credit card information is stored on a server?

Numerous churches have privacy policies and you can search for them with Google to get an idea of how they are written. Here are links to the privacy policies of First Baptist Church in Paducah, Kentucky, and Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington.

Childrens ministries have to be especially careful about collecting personal data from children because of child privacy laws. Class action lawsuits were filed after cookies were saved on computers from children visiting Google, Netflix, and Nick.

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