Right now, we’re in the information age. Information is available to website owners and internet users, including preferences for vacation rentals, the number of family members, birthdays, favorite colors, and much more. Although a lot of this information can be useful in understanding your visitors, users still need to be fully informed and aware that data collection is taking place. Keeping visitors in the dark could have major repercussions, such as decreased bookings or, worst yet, legal action.
The privacy statement for vacation rentals is meant to inform prospective customers and website visitors about how you intend to use, share and store personal data. This should include details on the beginning of data usage, how you acquired the data, and how, when, and where data is collected after collection.
Are privacy policies required for vacation rentals?
The definition of “invasion of privacy” is broad, and the penalties can be severe. Even if you have the best of intentions, any information you record, gather, or scribble down must be shared with visitors; otherwise, major issues may arise.
The guest experience is obvious. Before the guest ever makes a reservation, the goal is to satisfy them. You want to impress the visitor before they ever become a “guest,” whether that means arousing their wanderlust with alluring photographs, earning their trust with positive reviews, or making the booking process simple. You must declare this if you are gathering any information, whether it be for guest satisfaction or another purpose.
Conforming to CCPA and GDPR
Regarding CCPA compliance, the scope is slightly more constrained but just as significant. While not exclusive to California, these rules are state-specific. If you are found to violate this state statute, you will be subject to hefty fines.
What should a privacy statement on a vacation rental website contain?
You must introduce your business, the regulations you’re following, and any other pertinent background information at the top of the page. For our purposes, we’ve provided the GDPR code. However, privacy laws are not just governed by this body of legislation. Other sets of requirements to take into account can be:
- U.S. Data Protection Rules
- State statutes
Maintaining compliance with the law for your company will depend on your ability to research the privacy laws unique to your location.
Address and name of the Controller
Simply place the accountable individuals here. Usually, it will be you, your business, or any pen name or earlier trademark you may have used. It will be helpful to add all of your properties here and make it obvious that they are subsidiaries of your vacation rental business if you have several properties listed under your company.
Information gathered from your website
This section is the most important part of your vacation rental privacy agreement. Visitors to your website and guests are curious about the specifics of your tracking. Even if you are not currently gathering a certain type of data, you should include any existing data or data intended to be mined. Imagine you are a visitor to a website, and you believe the owner is merely collecting your contact information when they are tracking every page you visit, third parties connected to the user, and other information… You would be quite irate! In this part, describe the exact data you are gathering for your guests.
Reasons for processing
Even if website users agree to acquire their data, they can be curious as to why. Do you gather information to better the guest experience or sell it to outside parties? To prevent lawsuits and/or irate customers, it’s crucial to disclose the purpose of data collection.
Another consideration is the length of time you intend to retain their information on file. Do you keep records of prospective guests for a week or 10 years? This might significantly influence whether a website visitor accepts your privacy statement or not. You must inform your visitors if you intend to keep this data for an extended period.
The basis for the processing is legal
In essence, this means that you won’t utilize the data unless you have permission to. The user and the applicable data regulations or legislation must consent. For instance, even if you have the user’s agreement to collect their address, you must utilize pricing personalization only if they live in a more affluent area. All parties shall adhere to the legal foundation.
Disclosure of data
Here, it is specified where the information will be disclosed. You must inform your website’s visitors if you share user information with third parties, such as OTAs, Paypal, or other integrations. The data disclosure section must include a complete list of all third parties.
The Data Subject’s Rights
- Ability to confirm
- Right of entry
- Right to correction
- Freedom to revoke
- Right to processing restriction
- Data portability rights
- Right to withdraw data protection consent Right to object
- Users of your website should be aware of their rights regarding the privacy of their personal information.
They want to ensure visitors’ data is secure rather than just using it. Anyone who hears the phrase “data breach” can become frightened, but this is especially true of visitors who input their credit card numbers and personal information to make a reservation with you. Describe your data security procedures in this section to ensure the digital safety of your visitors. If you utilize any third-party software to guard data, it should be noted here.
Validity and modifications
- New third-party collaboration
- Change in data regulation laws
- Adding a subsidiary or changing the company name