Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Have You Checked Your DotNetNuke Privacy and Terms and Conditions?

In the world of DotNetNuke®, we have enjoyed the fact that we can easily include our own Terms of Use page, as well as a Privacy Statement page on our websites.  The simplicity of adding these two pages is almost too good to pass up.  In fact, I see very few DNN websites that don’t include it.  It’s simply there as a rule of thumb.  However, have you ever actually read either page thoroughly?  There might be things that you should be concerned about.  Both pages have items that may have an impact on the visitors to your website, or even have legal ramifications to you and your site.

Typically, the two links I am talking about are located on the bottom of your page, like shown in the screen shot below.

Privacy and Terms of Use Links

Now, just to prove the point, I will give you a couple of examples.  First of all, know this.  The title you give to your portal will be used throughout both pages.  In many cases, the choice of your portal name may make these pages hard to read.

Privacy Statement

Let’s begin with the Privacy Statement.  There are many things there that we can take for granted.  But ask yourself this?  Does your website accept or store credit card numbers?  Will it in the future?  Possibly.  But if you aren’t going to ever accept or store credit card numbers, then this statement could be changed or even removed.

DotNetNuke Privacy Statement: Use of Credit Card Information

If you indeed do allow your visitors to submit their credit card information, you should probably change this statement.  However, most of us out there also accept payment through services such as PayPal.  In these cases, it should at least be mentioned.  There is a level of legal abstraction and responsibility that you could and should include here.

Terms of Use

In previous versions of DotNetNuke®, the Terms of Use includes some text to specify a jurisdiction, should any legal action be taken against the owner(s) of the website.  This is a direct concern for me, as that jurisdiction is not where I am willing to travel for a court appearance.  By default, the jurisdiction resides in King County, Washington, USA.  Additionally, the statement before that mentions that the site is governed by the laws of the State of Washington, USA.  In recent months and years, this statement has become more and more of a problem, as state governments have been slowly updating their respective laws that affect website operations.

Terms of Use: Jurisdiction

If you are living outside of the United States, you should be even more concerned than I am.

Changing the Privacy Statement or Terms of Use

If you feel that you need to change anything in either of them (which I am sure you do now), you can do so by logging into your website using an Administrator account.  Go into your Languages page and change the values in the GlobalResources localization file, using the Language Editor.  The values you want to edit are MESSAGE_PORTAL_PRIVACY.Text and MESSAGE_PORTAL_TERMS.Text, respectively.

Language Editor: Privacy and Terms of Use

Of course, if you want to change these values for the entire site, you can do the same thing using a Host account, but making sure you’re in “Host” mode as shown below.

Languages Editor: Host Mode

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