Legal, Local, Management, Planning stage, Website Strategy

Pollenizer launches law start-up following new privacy policy laws

Michelle Hammond /

Pollenizer has launched a new online start-up dubbed LawPath, which is offering a free template to help businesses review their privacy policies after the laws changed in December last year.

 

In a bid to help businesses find low-cost solutions to legal issues, LawPath aims to bring start-ups and lawyers together via an online platform.

 

For a set fee, start-ups can ask up to three legal questions per month and spend 90 minutes talking to a lawyer over the phone or via email.

 

Alvin Valdez, a business developer at Pollenizer, told StartupSmart the platform aims to change the relationship between start-ups and lawyers.

 

“Start-ups often find lawyers scary and intimidating, so we’re trying to change that whole blockage between small businesses and law firms,” he says.

 

Valdez says the response from lawyers has been strong, which isn’t overly surprising.

 

“We’re actually marketing your law firm and your services… [Lawyers are] able to talk to warm customers or a warm lead, and see if they can build a relationship with that business.

 

“It’s a way to build their network in general [because it allows you to] spread your name by word of mouth.”

 

Contrary to popular belief, Valdez says many lawyers are keen to work with start-ups.

 

“I talked to a lawyer yesterday who is in that space – the start-up space and the IT space. I don’t think there’s as much hesitation as you would think,” he says.

 

LawPath was set up in response to new privacy laws, introduced in December.

 

Previously, the Australian Privacy Commissioner did not have significant powers to fine and penalise individuals and companies for privacy breaches.

 

Now the commissioner can issue companies fines of up to $1.1 million, while individuals can be hit with fines of up to $220,000.

 

The laws used to be called the National Privacy Principles. They are now called the Australian Privacy Principles.

 

The NPPs never mentioned a privacy policy. However, the APPs specifically require a business to have a privacy policy, and set out the information that must be included in that policy.

 

While the new laws won’t take effect until 2014, businesses are being urged to change their privacy policies and procedures well before then.

 

To help businesses with this, LawPath is offering a free privacy policy template, although it is only an introductory offer.

 

“Essentially, [a privacy policy is] a code of the things they will have to tell their customers – where their data is being stored, whether they’re handing it to other countries, etc.,” Valdez says.

 

“We’re encouraging people to visit our site to help them come to terms with what the privacy policy reforms are about.

 

“It has to be done by March 2014 but it’s probably better if they do it now.”

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