How to Draft a Privacy Statement

A chapter by Hintze Law partner Mike Hintze, entitled "Privacy Statements: Purposes, Requirements, and Best Practices" will be included in the forthcoming Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy, edited by Jules Polonetsky, Evan Selinger & Omer Tene, Cambridge University Press (2017).

The chapter explains that while drafting a privacy statement may be considered by some to be one of the most basic tasks of a privacy professional, doing it well is no simple matter. One must understand and reconcile a host of statutory and self-regulatory obligations. One must consider different audiences that may read the statement from different perspectives. One must balance pressures to make the statement simple and readable against pressures to make it comprehensive and detailed. A mistake can form the basis for an FTC deception claim. And individual pieces can be taken out of context and spun into PR debacles.

The chapter then goes on to explore the art of crafting a privacy statement. It explains the multiple purposes of a privacy statement. It lists and discusses the many elements included in a privacy statement – some required by law, and others based on an organization’s objectives. Finally, it describes different approaches to drafting privacy statements and suggests best practices based on a more complete understanding of a privacy statement’s purposes and audiences.

The pre-publication of the chapter can now be downloaded at