RMIT launches online privacy policy generator for SMEs

RMIT researchers have developed a free online privacy policy generator designed to help Australian businesses whose websites are not compliant with privacy laws.

RMIT researchers have developed a free online privacy policy generator designed to help Australian businesses whose websites are not compliant with privacy laws.

After three years working with small businesses, government and industry to develop the generator, RMIT’s Simple Privacy is now live and available for use by all small businesses.

Online businesses are required by banks and credit providers to have privacy policies for their transactions, and they have strict rules about ensuring companies’ privacy policies are compliant with federal regulations.

Emeritus Professor Margaret Jackson from RMIT’s Graduate School of Business and Law said while most of Australia’s small businesses are not legally bound to have privacy policies, they should if they are online.

“It’s a reputational risk for companies if they cannot tell people how they will use the information they give them online,” Professor Jackson said. “But most small businesses don’t have access to the legal advice of bigger firms to help them develop privacy policies.

“Simple Privacy is an easy tool that small businesses can use to show their online customers what will happen to the personal information they collect, presented in a way that their customers can understand.”

To create their own privacy policies using the generator, business owners answer seven questions about their type of business, the type of information they collect, how they secure that information and what they do with the information. Information about the company is not kept once the policy has been generated and posted.

An appropriate, legally compliant privacy policy is then generated with an icon and link that can be put on their websites, along with a short summary. To find out more visit www.simpleprivacy.net.au.

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