Podcast Episode #219

Important Lessons About Online Privacy from the Termageddon Team

Hans Skillrud and Donata Kalnenaite
Termageddon
1 MIN READ
Podcast Episode #219
donata-hans
donata-hans

How much thought do you give to online privacy when building websites for clients? According to the team behind Termageddon, an auto-updating privacy policy generator, this needs to be something that agency owners take very seriously… and spend less time managing. Hear what they have to say about the matter on this episode of the WP Elevation podcast.

Show Notes

What Is Termageddon? (3:15)

Termageddon is a tool built specifically for agency owners who want help generating and managing their websites’ legal policies, including:

  • Terms and Conditions
  • Privacy Policies
  • User Licensing Agreements
  • Disclaimers

Termageddon writes the policies, agencies embed them on their clients’ sites, and then Termageddon pushes updates to those policies as the laws change. It’s that simple.

Who Is the Team Behind Termageddon? (4:45)

Termageddon’s President is Donata Kalnenaite. She is a former employee with U.S. Homeland Security, a current lawyer in Illinois, and she also happens to be a GDPR educator.

Hans Skillrud is the Vice President of the company and a former web agency owner himself. He sold his agency this year in order to pursue Termageddon full-time.

The two also happen to be engaged.

What’s interesting to note is that the idea for their company came about over dinner together a couple years back. And while they came at it from two different perspectives, the underlying issue was the same.

Donata wanted an auto-generator that would save her time:

“I feel like I write these privacy policies that are all very similar and I keep having to ask the same questions.”

Hans wanted something that would relieve him of the last-minute scrambles caused by privacy policies:

“The question about privacy policies typically arose three days before a site launch and it always delayed projects because they’d have to take it to an attorney.”

In sum: online privacy was a major thorn in the side for both, and they decided to create a solution for it.

Is Online Privacy Really an Issue? (9:30)

Donata had a lot to say about this question.

“The way things are set up now is so invasive. I can Google a question and, next thing I know, I see ads for it. I can talk about something in my living room and see ads for it, too.”

Essentially, she says we’re living in an age where our online privacy is invaded by all the tools we invite into our lives. Even if they’re powered by technology, there’s always someone on the other end of it looking at the data.

Donata is especially sceptical of free products like Google, Facebook and other social media platforms.

When Do You Need to Comply with GDPR? (15:15)

GDPR became the official privacy regulation in the EU in May 2018. However, that doesn’t just make this a concern for agency owners in the EU. If your clients’ websites engage with residents in the EU — i.e. use cookie tracking or collect so much as an email address from a visitor — they are liable for upholding those privacy regulations as well.

Which is why online privacy needs to be taken seriously by all.

Donata and Hans stress, though, that it’s not enough to slap a cookie pop-up on your website in order to be compliant. You have to be clear about the kind of information you’re gathering and what you’re going to do with it.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing with your website — collecting leads, processing payments, providing support, remarketing, etc. — you need to get explicit consent from visitors that it’s okay to track them or use their information.

What Makes Termageddon Different? (20:00)

Termageddon isn’t the first auto-updating privacy policy generator. However, Hans says that there are two clear differentiators that set them apart:

1. Price
As of writing this, Termageddon costs agency owners either $10 a month or $100 a year per install. There’s no need to pay for additional policies. It’s all inclusive.

2. Monetisation
Termageddon isn’t just a way for Donata and Hans to make money. They want their agency partners to make money, too. They provide two opportunities for this:

  • Affiliate partnerships
  • Reseller programs – which is especially awesome if you have WordPress care plans to build the solution and pricing into

Who Is Termageddon For? (23:00)

Termageddon is a tool for web agencies that design websites that collect information from contact forms.

“We wanted to create a solution for everybody that’s easy to implement that works for every business.”

That said, there are some exceptions. For example, you cannot use Termageddon if you:

  • Need your website to be compliant with laws outside of the U.S. or GDPR.
  • Create a website that collects health-related information.
  • Create a website that collects information from children 13 years of age or younger.
  • Need a custom-written online privacy policy.

If you’re unsure of whether your agency or client websites are eligible, you can register for free on Termageddon and await your evaluation. Or you can reach out to Hans Skillrud and ask him directly. And, if all is good, you can talk to him about becoming an affiliate or reseller while you’re at it.

Wrap-Up

It’s interesting to see what can happen when you put a lawyer and web agency owner together. Although they’re coming at the same issue from different sides of the table, the solution they’ve created solves everyone’s problems with it.

Side note! If you haven’t yet joined our free workshop – click here and learn how to get better clients and better fees! 

Reach Out

You can reach out and email Hans Skillrud if you have any questions or want to sign up to become an agency partner.

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