1. The template: a standard text not adapted to your activities
Templates are standard models. Do not expect to download a template and upload it to your website without prior editing.
For instance, you will need to specify:
- Your personal data processing;
- If there are data transfers outside the European Union. If so, to which countries;
- etc …
Policies are unique for each company and must be tailored.
2. No guarantee of adequacy with the national laws that you address
Whether you are addressing one or several markets, the issue is the same. Each time, you will have to provide a section on your website that complies with national requirements.
Even further, some websites offer you documents written in French but… according to American standards. It is very likely that such a document does not comply with the European legal requirements.
This is a real risk that you should not take.
The companies that provide these tools do not necessarily have in-house legal expertise.
Legal compliance of policies generated by free templates is not always guaranteed, nor is legal protection for you and your users.
The text must also be easy to understand and read for everyone. We need to adopt clear and direct language. Hence the concept of legal design.
However, a free template is not necessarily following this principle.
The risk here is to download a document full of complicated words and unnecessary legal jargon. Such as “may have”, “may be”, etc. A whole vocabulary that regulatory authorities would like to see removed from privacy policies, and that website users would like not to read.
5. Templates, documents that do not fit together
Don’t just edit a list of mandatory documents:
You are offering a real reading experience on your website. These documents must therefore provide relevant information, which is not contradictory from one section to another. Ideally, you should even link these mandatory GDPR notices to each other.
These updates could be due to:
- a change on your processing of personal data;
- new legal requirements.
However, a company providing simple templates will not offer you this updating possibility.
As the word itself suggests, a free template has the advantage of being free.
On the other hand, you will only get a standard text and, above all, you will not have any assistance or support.
Don’t expect expert helping you in adapting the document to your company.
Simply because a trusted company will offer you expert help in drafting your policy.
In addition to meeting your legal obligations, this means that you can offer your customers total transparency on how you handle their personal data. This is a real trust asset that explains your use to a premium service and personalised support.
If you are addressing multiple markets, you absolutely need to offer a policy in the language of the target country.
In short, you need to plan to use an additional translation service for your policy. Which requires additional money.
If you use a free template, have you asked yourself whether the provider complies with its obligations?
After all, in many cases, using this type of online tool means that you have to provide your personal data. Do you even know how they are used?
If it’s free, maybe it’s because you are the product? For instance, does the template provider shares or sells your data to advertising partners?
Obviously, it is one of the components of your GDPR compliance checklist. It should therefore not be ignored.
We have introduced you to the downsides of using free templates.
At Admeet, we believe that every company is different. And that is why we create unique privacy policies, tailored to your company, your data processing activities, and your brand identity and communication tone of voice.
Plus, you are never alone. We are here to provide the legal and technical support you need.