Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How to Add A Privacy Policy to Blogger, and Privacy Policy Text

NOTE: post updated November 30 2016 because of the multitude of changes to both AdSense and Blogger functionality.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve made of the Google help forums and discovered that there is a never-ending stream of questions coming into the help centers. Some quite simple, but others much more complex. What I also discovered is that help can sometimes be as simple as pointing someone to the right link in the vast network of Google help links.

I don't consider myself an "expert" on all Google's help systems, but for the most part I have learned how and where to find help when I need it. What you’ll find though, is that getting a direct answer from any person who actually works for Google is difficult, at best. And only those who qualify for direct email support can have it. The rest need to use the help forum to get answers, and the help forum has volunteers who have been using AdSense for a long time (some have been using AdSense since it first was acquired by Google, so that's a lot of knowledge just waiting for you to ask for it).

While not related to all the Google categories where you can find help, one of the issues that cropped up a lot when Privacy Policies were first a requirement was how to add it to Blogger, without having it be your first post.

Adding A Privacy Policy to A Blogger Blog

This can be done quite simply by adding the pages gadget to your blog. Pages are static (not like a blog post) and can be added as tabs across the top of your blog (the same as you see above in my menu), or can be added as a link in your sidebar.

Create your page, and copy and paste the sample privacy policy from below. Be sure you use your own blog's URL (or your website link) in the body of the privacy policy, and provide your own contact information.

If you don't want to use the pages gadget, or have too many pages already, you can create a post and "backdate" the post (use a date that is before the very first post on your blog) using the "published on" option in the post settings. When you publish that post, it will not appear in your current posts, but will be the first post on your blog ... hidden away from recent posts.

Grab the URL for that post, and then add it as a link in your sidebar, or your blog's footer, or in your own menu section. When anyone clicks on the link they'll be able to access your Privacy policy.

Either of these methods are fine, and it doesn't matter if you are using a custom domain with your blog, or if you are using a blogspot URL.



SAMPLE PRIVACY POLICY TEXT(you can copy the text below and paste it into your blog to create your own privacy policy)

Start of policy text:

Privacy Policy

We take your privacy seriously. This policy describes what personal information we collect and how we use it. (This privacy policy is applicable to websites falling under the primary holder fill in your website(s) and urls here.)

Routine Information Collection

All web servers track basic information about their visitors. This information includes, but is not limited to, IP addresses, browser details, timestamps and referring pages. None of this information can personally identify specific visitors to this site. The information is tracked for routine administration and maintenance purposes, and lets me know what pages and information are useful and helpful to visitors.

Cookies and Web Beacons

Where necessary, this site uses cookies to store information about a visitor's preferences and history in order to better serve the visitor and/or present the visitor with customized content.

Advertising partners and other third parties may also use cookies, scripts and/or web beacons to track visitors to our site in order to display advertisements and other useful information. Such tracking is done directly by the third parties through their own servers and is subject to their own privacy policies.

Controlling Your Privacy

Note that you can change your browser settings to disable cookies if you have privacy concerns. Disabling cookies for all sites is not recommended as it may interfere with your use of some sites. The best option is to disable or enable cookies on a per-site basis. Consult your browser documentation for instructions on how to block cookies and other tracking mechanisms.

Special Note About Google Advertising

Any advertisements served by Google, Inc., and affiliated companies may be controlled using cookies. These cookies allow Google to display ads based on your visits to this site and other sites that use Google advertising services. Learn how to opt out of Google's cookie usage. As mentioned above, any tracking done by Google through cookies and other mechanisms is subject to Google's own privacy policies.

About Google advertising: What is the DoubleClick DART cookie? The DoubleClick DART cookie is used by Google in the ads served on publisher websites displaying AdSense for content ads. When users visit an AdSense publisher’s website and either view or click on an ad, a cookie may be dropped on that end user’s browser. The data gathered from these cookies will be used to help AdSense publishers better serve and manage the ads on their site(s) and across the web. Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

Contact Information

Concerns or questions about this privacy policy can be directed to fill in your contact information here for further clarification.


End of policy text.
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On my own privacy policy, I include other useful information for my readers. The above text is required by AdSense, but if you want to take it a step further you can also add this information, or include other information related to controlling ads or privacy concerns.

I like to this that the information I included on my privacy policy is actually of some help to people - not everyone will read it, or even look at it, but there are people who want to know how their information is used, and while I may not have cookies or login requirements, Blogger and AdSense both do use cookies, and we are responsible for letting people know that.

(note that for Amendment 3, if you do receive paid promotions like free items to review, you must not claim that you aren't receiving compensation/payment when you are).

Whether or not you want to add any of these amendments to your privacy policy is up to you (in terms of what AdSense requires), but do note that the FTC requires bloggers and writers to disclose whether or not they are being paid for links on their sites.

Amendment 1:
Some third-party advertisers used by Google may use a different cookie. You may opt out of most third-party advertising cookies by following this link  and visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page, or by visiting this Consumers page to opt out of all advertising cookies.

Amendment 2:
PLEASE NOTE:
Some advertisers may use cookies to serve interest based ads. You may choose to opt out of the cookies as noted in the policy below.
You may also set your browser preferences to be asked to opt in to cookies, rather than having to opt out. Each browser may have specific options available to opt out of cookies all together, to be asked first if you want to accept the cookies, or to allow cookies.  To find the instructions for your own browser, please visit "About Cookies" and select your browser for instructions.

Amendment 3:
 DISCLAIMER
This website is a personal endeavour to provide useful help/information for others. This site may from time-to-time display advertising or sponsorship, both paid and free. Any product endorsements which have paid compensation will be identified as such.
All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Advertisements are identified by the advertising network and where available, links are shown in the privacy policy to opt out of advertising cookies.
The owner of this site is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Products used in tutorials or listed here are products used by the site owner and/or have been purchased by the site owner. No endorsement fees have been paid. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Amendment 4:

On some of my other websites, I also include links to helpful online security, and local laws. If you wanted to include something like this, make sure to include links to any local websites (ie: for your own country) where they list privacy, security, or copyright laws for your country.

EPIC.org
Privacy.org
CIPPIC Cdn.
Children's Online Privacy Act
Internet Privacy Laws Canada
US Privacy Laws
UK Privacy Laws
EU Privacy Laws

44 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I tried for days, using far more complicated instructions and nothing worked until I found these instructions with a Bing.com search. If only some of the other frustrated bloggers attempting this had found this article too. Thanks again.

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  2. hi,

    useful info here. do every type of blog need to publish privacy policy as most of the blogs won't ask any user info or emails to view the contents.

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  3. Hi PixelShots - any blog or website that displays AdSense ads or uses AdSense for Search is required to have and display a compliant privacy policy.

    If you don't have ads or use adsense for search on your blog, then you probably aren't required to have a privacy policy.

    AdSense ads use a cookie called a DART cookie - these are part of the doubleclick ads used by AdSense, and these DART cookies collect user information from the visitor's browser. The US privacy laws require that anyone having anything on their site that collects user information informs the user of this. Since AdSense is headquartered in the US, they (and all their publishers) must also follow the laws of the US with respect to the privacy issue.

    That's the reason ALL AdSense publishers must have a privacy policy that mentions the DART cookie.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi,

    I have not yet registered for adsense.However, i am planning to do so in near future,once my blog is getting considerable number of visits. Is it ok if i create a privacy policy link in my blog before regsitrering for Adsense......?

    Thanks in advance,
    Roshan

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  5. Hi Roshan - sure, there's nothing wrong with putting the privacy policy on your site before you apply for AdSense. You'll notice that this blog doesn't have Adsense ads on it (my choice), but it does have the privacy policy in place.

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  6. Hi Gracy,

    Can we just copy-and-paste your privacy policy text into our own blogs?

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  7. Yes, as long as the text you are copying is the Privacy Policy. Just make sure to change the website name and contact info to your own.

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  8. Gracey what a informative blog. I just reading all your post from one hour thanks.

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  9. thankyou gracey......! this post is informative for me...........

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  10. I've copied the privacy policy and it looks very similiar to a lot of others that I have read. However, at this point I really don't want my e-mail address hanging out for every mail robot in the Internet Kingdom to pick up. Is there a button I can install to take the reader to the policy?

    Thanks

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  11. I'm not sure what you mean by a button you can install - if you mean you want to send your readers to MY privacy policy, then no, you can't do that. It has to contain the privacy information for YOUR site and must contain your contact information.

    Note at the top that it says what site the policy is for? Mine, not yours so sending people here is not going to fulfill the adsense requirement for your site.

    If you don't mean that, then could you explain exactly what you mean by button link please?

    You can put your email address in any way you like - write it out, or make it an image file (which crawlers can't read). The spam bot would pass right by an image file.

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  12. Great info thanks!!!!!!

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  13. Awesome info and great help. I'll help pass this to others.

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  14. Cheers, needed this for the site!!

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  15. OMG you have no idea how this blog has helped me. I am not breaking the rules... I am so new to the inet world and I am so thankful for your site...

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  16. I had no idea we had to put up a privacy policy page until now. Thank you very much for the tutorial and the sample privacy policy text.

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  17. "Any email to support generally results in a form-letter reply directing you to a help forum for the area you are asking about. Considering the shear number of emails that must head towards google help centers every minute of every day, that really isn’t all that surprising."

    There are ways to deal with that and to help people. One among many would be to enter the problems in their knowledge base, and they are very far from being all there.

    "I’ve created a tutorial to help bloggers out a little bit"

    Don't you think they could have done that on your place?

    A company that earns as much as they do can only be stealing its earnings. In this case from the advertiser and all the others contributing to make them rich. Am I wrong?

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  18. Well it isn't Adsense's place to give tutorials out for Blogger.

    Although both Adsense and Blogger are owned by Google, they are two separate things.

    There is a help forum for Blogger that deals with Blogger problems and "how to" do stuff on Blogger.

    There is a help forum for Adsense and it's issues.

    And they are separate from each other. Since a lot of people use blogger and adsense together, it seemed like a good idea to put helpful posts and tutorials for both of them in one place.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sory Gracey, I didn't mean to mix them up, but we could tell the same about each of them. Have you noticed the number of unanswered questions on that forums? Have you noticed the number of real annoying issues that don't get solved? Don't you think that with what they earn it wouldn't be such a great favour to give a hand?

    Sorry, because this isn't really the place to write about these things, but I did it because I really appreciated your patience and dedicating your time so kindly helping people in real need, and I learned many things from you. That made me think that them who earn the money just leave it for the others. Thank you.

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  20. On Blogger forums you mean? Well they actually have a lot less TCs than there are on the Adsense forums so the few who really understand how to make things work on Blogger are pretty much over-worked. You have to remember that TCs don't get paid to help people in any of the Google forums - they're volunteers, and most of them have jobs, families and websites of their own to look after.

    While Adsense makes some money from publishers, they actually do make a smaller share of the earnings than the publisher makes. Out of each click, I earn 68% of the advertisers cost, while google/adsense earns the lesser. Keeping costs down for them, means a little more for us.

    With Blogger...well, they don't earn anything from a person using their free service. Since blogger is free, there are no earnings for Blogger themselves.

    Adsense's help center is designed for help specifically with Adsense, and not specifically for help with Blogger. If Adsense put in lots of specific help for Blogger and not for any other type of websites (like wordpress), then publisher's would be complaining that there's help for Blogger in Adsense, but not for anyone who doesn't use Blogger.

    Adsense rather does expect their publishers to understand how to achieve certain things on their own websites, and so many publishers just don't have any idea how to deal with a website. That's why it's important to learn how your website works and how to edit it, and the basics of html before a person applies for adsense...unfortunately many people are just in too big a hurry to make money to take the time to learn those things.

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  21. Thanks a lot it really helped

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  22. Hi Friend, I am not able to see any ads on my blog even my adsense account is active..
    my blogger url is : www.codinghub.net

    Please suggest.

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  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. Hi there,

    I am getting 'page not found' on some of my adsense units..... I don't have a privacy policy.... is that why? Would I just create 1 page on the site with the privacy policy on it or would i have have to add this text to every page?

    I also have Amazon Affiliate links on the site..... do i need to put any similar disclaimers on the site for that?

    ReplyDelete
  25. I wouldn't think that not having a privacy policy would result in ads displaying a page not found - it sounds more like an issue with some particular advertiser. You might want to post in the adsense help forum to get some help with that.

    You can create one individual page with your privacy policy on it, and then you can either put a link to that page in your menu, sidebar, or footer - somewhere that will make the link show up on each page on your website. The privacy policy won't display on each page, just the link to it.

    I don't know about Amazon ads I'm afraid. You'd need to read Amazon's affiliate guidelines for that.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Very nice info. Thanks for this.
    I need another help from you. All ads to my site not showing from last 7 days. I've posted my issue here on AdSense support forum (but no reply yet): http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/AdSense/thread?tid=7e1a94765ca53033&hl=en
    I even not got any notification/warning etc. My account was more than 3 years old.
    Plz its urgent.........

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi, this is Krishna and I wanted to contact you. I started www.giftmeacar.blogspot.com and I am getting few page views. Could you tell me how to improve it to get more people send me some money.You can reply at giftmeacar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for the help. Didn't have a privacy policy, but your pdf showed me how.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Maybe u can help me as well!!
    On Sunday, I put up a post discussing the Penn State child abuse scandal.

    The minute I uploaded the file - all of ads disappeared. Was it just coincidence? Or is Adsense very sensitive?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Most likely it's a coincidence. The crawler wouldn't likely have even crawled your site, not unless it was it was already set to crawl your site at that specific time.

    The crawler can be sensitive to certain stop words, but it usually doesn't work quite that fast, though it isn't impossible.

    I suggest you try the ad troubleshooter in the help forum.

    http://www.google.com/adsense/support/as/bin/static.py?page=ts.cs&ts=1204365

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  31. very informative,thanks

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  32. I love your template, and your page sequence style. How do I do the same?

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  33. My template is just the "Simple" template by Josh Peterson, just edited to suit my own needs.

    I'm not sure what you mean by page sequence style.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks so much for doing this blog post. It has helped me out a great deal in getting adsense set up on my blog.

    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you for sharing this post I got approved for adsense but ads not showing up Have folled your advice thanks again

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  36. Thank you so much I love this!!! I thought I was going to be pulling my hair out!

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  37. Thanks for the info...just getting mine started... www.disturbedearth.blogspot.com ....you've made it a lot easier to make sure I've got my t's dotted and my i's crossed. :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. sorry am hooked up, each time i click the file it normally direct me to facebook but i wont find anytin. finding it difficult to add privacy policy and register adsense

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, the .pdf was removed because I moved my webhosting to another provider and forgot to change the link.

      But you don't need a tutorial to put a privacy policy on your blog any longer. Simply create a page for your blog with the privacy policy on it. Add the pages gadget to your blog, and you can copy and paste the text for the privacy policy to your page.

      You just have to make sure you change the website named in the policy to your own, and make sure you use your own contact information.

      Delete

Please do not drop links here using monetized URL shorteners or the comments will be marked as spam.

If you want help with an actual blog or website, please just post for help in the Adsense forum, or leave your G+ profile link. I will not publish comments with blog/website or channel links.

Thanks.