Online innovation: a privacy policy generator

Stem client Harrison Pensa LLP of London, Ontario has done a great service to every organization that operates a website (which is to say, much of the corporate world). Led by business and technology lawyer David Canton (author of the eLegal blog), the firm has helped create a privacy policy generator called PrivacyTool. PrivacyTool guides users through a simple 11-step process for generating a customized privacy policy for their organization. From the site:

PolicyTool is a policy generator that simplifies the process of creating a privacy policy for your website or company. It’s easy to do. The streamlined process simply requires you to answer a brief questionnaire and provides you with a complete Privacy Policy customized to your company. PolicyTool has been developed by rtraction in collaboration with Harrison Pensa lawyer David R. Canton, one of Canada’s leading authorities in Internet and technology-related legal issues.

Wisely, PrivacyTool advises that using the site to craft a privacy policy is only the first step: “Once you’ve received the policy, make sure you and your legal counsel are comfortable with the promises you’ve made and [that] everyone in your organization is compliant.” This latter point rarely gets enough attention within organizations: simply posting a policy on your site does little good if your employees aren’t on board with the policy, its aims and its strictures — if the policy isn’t implemented in the organization’s everyday life, it won’t help you.

What I especially like about PrivacyTool is that it’s an excellent example of the evolution of legal services in the internet age. It condenses an array of legal knowledge and content into a simple, user-friendly Q-and-A process that doesn’t require any specialized expertise to navigate. This is where many legal services are heading, especially those for which the outcome is a document or other tangible output: lawyers will help create processes and algorithms by which clients can take on more of the work, corresponding to clients’ growing readiness to assume more responsibility for their legal affairs. PrivacyTool is a harbinger, one that law firms of all kinds should carefully review.


  1. There is a free one that I used for MyShingle –

    @ 9:17 pm
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