Can I Copy a Privacy Policy to Save Money?

Can I Copy a Privacy Policy to Save Money? - Ligalio

One of the most common questions we get from early-stage startups is – can I copy a privacy policy from someone else? Or from a competitor?

To which we always answer – NO!

For a founder, privacy policies are an unknown area and often low on the priority list.

Bigger businesses usually ask their lawyers to create a privacy policy or hire external lawyers, which might be expensive.

For smaller businesses, it's tempting to copy competitor's privacy policy, change some details and publish it for free on their website or app.

However, the copy and paste option may be even worse than not having a privacy policy at all.

But First, What Is a Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a legal document where a business explains to its users:

  • what personal data does it use
  • for what purposes and how does it use the personal data
  • the user's rights to their personal data

Having a privacy policy is required by the GDPR if your business uses any personal data. Many other privacy laws also require it. Even non-EU businesses, in some cases, must comply with the GDPR.

And almost all businesses, websites and apps use personal data.

Also, many service providers now require customers to publish a privacy policy. It is a requirement of App Store, Google Play, Google Analytics, Facebook, online payment service providers and many more.

Copying Privacy Policies Is Like Torrenting Songs

In 2003, when Steve Jobs presented the iTunes store, he explained why buying songs is better than downloading them for free.

He believed that most people don't want to steal songs, but there was just no legal alternative that worked well.

He highlighted critical issues with copied content:

  • unreliable quality
  • content created by non-experts
  • it's stealing

The Downside of Copying Privacy Policies

Same as with torrenting songs, if you copy a privacy policy, you will face the following issues:

Unreliable Quality

The copied privacy policy will not reflect your actual practices regarding personal data, and it won't be compliant with the GDPR.

Each business collects different personal data and uses personal data differently. For example, your product may have different functionalities than your competitors. Thus your data usage practices will be different from your competitors.

So, using anyone else's privacy policy will not describe what you do with personal data.

Privacy Policies Created by Non-experts

Creating a high-quality privacy policy requires extensive legal knowledge and experience.

If you copy the privacy policy from someone else, you never know who created it and what their expertise was.

We have seen examples where an EU business copies a privacy policy from a competitor in the US, which was intended to comply with the US laws and not the EU laws. Therefore, it most likely won't be GDPR compliant, and you will misinform your users.

It's Stealing

Probably the worst issue is that you are stealing someone else's work, which is illegal! Not only can you get a fine for a non-compliant privacy policy, but you may get in trouble if someone finds out that you copied their work.

For Those Who Read Only Bullet Points

Why should you not copy a privacy policy?

  • the privacy policy won't be GDPR compliant
  • you may get fined
  • you can damage your reputation
  • lose the trust of your users
  • you will get a low-quality privacy policy
  • it's stealing

So What Should You Do?

As we mentioned above, lawyer consultations might be expensive.

So, Ligalio has created a privacy policy generator that allows you to create a custom privacy policy at an affordable price quickly.

We have experienced lawyers that worked to create the best product for businesses that need speed and quality at an affordable price.

How Does It Work?

First, you must answer some questions about your business and how it uses personal data. Then you will get your privacy policy and can copy-paste it as text or HTML to your website or app.

You can return to your Ligalio account whenever you change your data usage practices and update your privacy policy. Even slight changes in how and what you offer within your business to your clients might require changes to your privacy policy.

And the best part – whenever a significant law or how supervisory authorities interpret the law changes, Ligalio will send you a friendly reminder that you need to update your privacy policy (no weekly spamming!).

We want to take the legal pain away from you so you can focus on your business.

If you are interested – you can generate your custom privacy policy here.

Other Ligalio blog posts you may be interested in:

The Ultimate Privacy Policy Guide

Google Play Store Privacy Policy Requirements

If you need a privacy policy, check out our privacy policy generator! 🚀