In today’s digital age, where information is readily accessible online, privacy has become a paramount concern for both individuals and businesses. As a website owner, it is crucial to understand and comply with federal internet privacy laws to help protect your users’ personal data and maintain their trust.
Please continue reading for an overview of the key privacy laws every website owner should know.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, commonly known as COPPA, is a federal law enacted to safeguard the online privacy of children under 13 years. If your website targets children or collects personal information from them, you must comply with COPPA regulations.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
HIPAA is a federal law whose provisions set standards for protecting sensitive health information. While it primarily applies to healthcare providers and insurers, website owners may also fall under its jurisdiction if they handle health-related data.
If your website deals with protected health information (PHI), such as medical records or health insurance details, you should try to ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations. This includes maintaining PHI’s confidentiality, integrity and availability and implementing safeguards to help protect against unauthorized access or disclosure.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Although GDPR is a European Union (EU) regulation, it can have extraterritorial effects on websites outside the EU if they process the personal data of individuals residing in the EU. GDPR grants users enhanced rights over their data.
If your website interacts with EU residents or offers goods or services to them, you must comply with GDPR’s principles, such as:
- Obtaining explicit consent
- Ensuring data accuracy
- Providing data portability
- Implementing robust security measures.
Maintaining compliance with US federal internet privacy laws is a legal obligation and crucial for building trust with your website users. Understanding and adhering to these laws can protect user privacy, avoid legal liabilities and foster a positive online experience.