What Bloggers Needs to Know About Privacy Laws

For anyone using a blog to spread your company’s message, there are certain laws you should be familiar with. From copyright issues to slander, there are numerous areas where blogging without knowing the rules can get you into trouble.

Perhaps most important of all is knowing the basics of privacy laws. As one of the most discussed behind-the-scenes topics in terms of websites and blogging, any blogger who posts with any sort of regularity needs to know at least the minimum when it comes to privacy laws.

For instance, if your comprivacypany’s blog serves as a major facet of communicating with your audience, it is a good idea to have a privacy policy somewhere on your blog. This can be a sidebar item, disclaimer text along the footer, or even a page unto itself.

Also, it’s important to remember that for those blogs that somehow gather data about their visitors, it is unlawful to use that information in any sort of mass mail or “spam”-like activity. Most blogging platforms provide several ways to incite readers to join newsletters, updates, or similar information. This is them giving you permission to mail such materials to them. But if such permission has not been given, or if they have not signed up for some form of an opt-in, you aren’t allowed to send them any promotional material. When you draft up the mails that you plan on sending out, always include a way for the reader to opt-out of receiving future mails.

Similar to the “don’t call” list for home phones, this type of activity is regulated by the CAN-SPAM Act. Any blogger that sends material to their readers should know the ins and outs of the CAN-SPAM Act before they start sending out those mass mails.

Speaking of people’s e-mail addresses and personal information, it is also highly illegal to sell this information to third parties without the reader’s permission.

All of this, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg.  If you have further questions or doubts about your blogging practices, you may want to check with a blogging professional or, if you have one, your company’s lawyer or attorney.



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