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Why you should write your privacy policy in Plain English

25 May 18

You may know that a requirement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules is any organisation gathering personal data must publish a privacy policy. But are you aware "your privacy policy should be written in clear, straightforward language" according to the ICO? It might seem daunting to explain your policy in simple terms but Barbour Logic have used their 30 years’ experience in Plain English to help you.

Barbour Logic's top 6 tips for writing a clear, straightforward privacy policy:

1. Think about your audience. In a parking situation the reader could be anyone from a teenager to a pensioner. Have you written your privacy policy in language anyone who uses your service can understand?

2. Use lists, like this one, to simply display a number of different points. For example, “We use this information to:

- Improve the website by monitoring how you use it
- Improve our products and services
- Help the council improve the overall parking challenges and appeals process"

3. Be concise. Shorter sentences make your writing clearer and easier to read. A sentence should ideally contain a maximum of 15-20 words. You shouldn't express more than one idea in a sentence.

4. Talk about "you" and "we" so it’s clear who you are talking about. If you are talking about your organisation use ‘we’. If you are talking about the reader use ‘you’. For example, "We collect information about you when you use Self-Serve.co.uk."

5. Be clear who is doing what. Use ‘active’ verbs like "we store data" instead of passive verbs like "data is stored by us". It gets to the point quicker.

6. Avoid jargon. Try and swap legal and technical terms for words your readers will understand. For example, instead of "we collect analytics" say "we collect information about how you use our website".