Difference between Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

Key Difference: A Privacy Policy is a statement or a legal document that discloses to the audience that their information in being collected by the website or app. Terms and Conditions are a set of rules and guidelines that one must abide by in order to use the service. They are also commonly called terms of use or terms of service.

Both Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions are two different types of legal documents whose purpose is to protect one from indemnity or liability. While they both previously existed, today they are famous for being included on websites. Both are commonly found as part of the legal statement on the website or an app, while companies may also make use of them.

A Privacy Policy is a statement or a legal document that discloses to the audience that their information in being collected by the website or app. The privacy policy is usually required for any personally identifiable information that is gathered, such as name, address and credit card number. It may also include order history, browsing habits, uploads and downloads. However, it is recommended that every website or app have a privacy policy, even if they are only collecting non-personal information.

In addition to letting the user know that the information is being collected, the privacy policy must also inform the users what information is being collected, in what way, and what will it be used for. For example: this website will collect the user’s e-mail addresses when the user voluntarily provides it to send them updates about the website and its products. The policy should also indicate if any data may be left on a user’s computer, such as cookies, and if the data may be shared with or sold to third parties and for what purpose.

Terms and Conditions, on the other hand, are a set of rules and guidelines that one must abide by in order to use the service. They are also commonly called terms of use or terms of service. In regard to websites and apps, the terms and conditions apply primarily to the user or the audience; however, they can be modified to cover both parties. If a person does not follow the terms and conditions, then their service can be terminated, i.e. they will no longer be able to use the service. The user may be penalized, fined, banned temporarily, or even banned permanently from the service, if the company so decides.

A privacy policy is required by law in some countries and jurisdictions, whereas terms and conditions are not. However, it is recommended that both be included on the website, and on a webpage that is easily accessible to the readers. The reason for this is because even if the privacy policy is not required in some regions, you cannot distinguish the audience from that region, especially on a website or app. Hence, it is recommended to have a single privacy policy targeted towards the entire audience.

In some instances, a privacy policy can be incorporated as part of the terms and conditions since both are sort of rules and regulations that need to be agreed upon by the user, albeit regulations regarding two different things. Many others prefer to keep them separate, even dedicating two different webpages for each, while others may choose to incorporate one and exclude the other. However, it should be noted that both should written in plain language that can be understood by the user who may have no knowledge of legal or technical terminology.

Comparison between Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

 

Privacy Policy

Terms and Conditions

Description

A statement or a legal document that discloses to the audience that their information in being collected and what will it be used for

A set of rules and guidelines that one must abide by in order to use the service

Function

To inform the user about their information being collected

Rules and guidelines that must be followed

Purpose

To reduce the company or website’s liability

To ensure that the user abides by the

Law

Required by Law in some countries and jurisdictions

Not required by law, but recommended

Legally binging

May or may not be legally binding depending on the context

Can be legally binding

Recommendation

Recommended for all websites and apps

Especially recommended if the website sells products or services

Reference: Wikipedia (Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions), WhatIs, 
PS Website Design, Terms Feed
Image Courtesy: khannoon.com, canaanstore.asia

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