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Do I Need a Solicitor to Draft a Privacy Policy?

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The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) establishes several obligatory legal regulations that organisations must comply with when processing personal data. A privacy policy plays a vital role in showcasing compliance with the legal rules of UK GDPR regarding transparency. If your organisation functions as a data controller, a privacy policy is crucial for informing individuals about how and why their personal information will be utilised. 

Drafting a compliant privacy policy can take a lot of time and attention to detail. So, many organisations work with data protection lawyers to create their privacy policies. This article will explore if you need a solicitor’s help to draft a privacy policy for your business.

What is a Privacy Policy?

Transparency regarding the use of personal data is vital under the UK GDPR rules.

A privacy policy is a critical document that the data controller uses to inform individuals about the personal data it processes about them. A privacy policy comprehensively outlines why and how a business intends to use an individual’s personal data.

When collecting an individual’s personal data, you must prominently display the privacy policy before the data collection point.

Within your privacy policy, your business should outline various critical information, including:

  • the types of personal data your business will process;
  • the purposes for which your business will use the individual’s data;
  • the duration for which your business will retain personal data;
  • who your business shares personal data with, such as third-party suppliers;
  • whether your business transfers any personal data outside of the UK;
  • the safeguards implemented by your business to ensure the security and integrity of personal data; and
  • information regarding the rights available to individual data subjects.

The precise types of information your business will need to provide will depend on how you use personal data in practice, including whether you collect personal data from an individual directly or not.

Do I Need a Solicitor to Draft a Privacy Policy?

You are not required to hire a solicitor to draft your privacy policy. You can draft it yourself if you prefer.

However, companies usually draft complex and lengthy legal documents for privacy policies. They must also meet several crucial requirements to comply with the UK GDPR rules. Consequently, many businesses engage specialist data protection lawyers to draft their privacy policies.

There are several ways a solicitor can provide value when drafting a privacy policy on your behalf, as further explored below.

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How Can a Solicitor Help Me with My Privacy Policy?

1. A Solicitor Can Advise on Which Privacy Policies You Need  

Every business is different; therefore, you cannot apply a one-size-fits-all approach to privacy policies. A solicitor can advise you on your data handling practices and which privacy policies you need.

For instance, a business may collect information about individuals from various sources. For example, it may operate a:

    • physical store;

    • telephone sales.

As such, it may require different types of privacy policies for its customer groups. If a business is recruiting, it may also need a specific and niche privacy policy to inform candidates about the types of data it collects from them.

By working with a solicitor, your business can understand which type of privacy policies or policies are required to address compliance with the UK GDPR rules.

A solicitor can also advise you about how to provide privacy information. This can be particularly complicated. For instance, if your business collects a range of personal data via telephone, it can be challenging to understand how to provide privacy information.

2. A Solicitor Can Draft a UK GDPR Compliant Privacy Policy for You

There are many common mistakes that businesses make when drafting privacy policies. 

For instance:

  • failing to include all required mandatory information in the privacy policy. You must ensure your privacy policy is very detailed and covers a range of mandatory data protection disclosures; and
  • not including full details about the personal data of your business processes and why. Ensuring your privacy policy is not generic but tailored and specific is vital.

These mistakes can cause a privacy policy to fall short of UK GDPR compliance, which can result in several negative implications for your company. Working with a solicitor ensures that your privacy policy is UK GDPR compliant and correct. A solicitor can also support you by ensuring your policy is tailored, clear, and transparent. This can help foster trust from individuals, which can help avoid complaints and other problematic issues.

3. A Solicitor Can Update Your Privacy Policy and Provide Ongoing Support  

To ensure compliance with UK GDPR, your business must regularly review and update its privacy policy and treat it as a living document rather than a one-time task.

For instance, you may need to change your privacy policy to reflect changes in the way your business uses personal data. Your policy may require updates to comply with changes in the law or new guidance from data protection regulators.

Navigating such changes or knowing when or how to update your privacy policy may be difficult for your business. You will also need to ensure that you communicate any changes in your privacy policy to individuals. A solicitor can guide you on when and how to update your privacy policy and draft any required amendments. They can also guide you in informing individuals about the changes that have been made.

If any issues arise relating to your privacy policy (for instance, if you receive a question or complaint from an individual), a solicitor can further advise you on what steps to take to address these issues.

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Key Takeaways

While drafting a privacy policy without the assistance of a solicitor is not strictly mandatory, doing so can add significant value to your business. A solicitor can provide invaluable support by guiding you on which privacy policies you need for your business to comply with. A solicitor can further assist by drafting transparent and compliant privacy policies for your business. Additionally, a solicitor can advise you on any ongoing changes required and provide broader general advice on any other legal issues surrounding your privacy policy. As such, many businesses collaborate with solicitors to help draft robust privacy policies that comply with UK GDPR.

If you need legal advice on a privacy policy, our experienced data, privacy and IT lawyers can assist you as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page.

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Sej Lamba

Sej Lamba

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