When GDPR took affect a few years back I really didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to creating these documents until it directly affected the projects I owned. Now anytime I start new projects, the thought of Privacy Policies, TOS, AUP, and similar documents comes to mind. This post is about a tool I wrote to simplify the process of policy document management, specifically making the documents publicly available and thus be GDPR-compliant.
As I’m not a lawyer and don’t have a legal department as such to reach out to, sites like termly.io have been my goto for generation of said policy documents. For the most part sites like these have been very useful. Both in generating the required documents, and previously have also helped by providing a hosted link for said documentation. The hosted part being important since often while working on a new project, there is no established “home” yet where these documents can be hosted yet.
Unfortunately during my most recent attempt to generate policy documents using termly.io, I found out that they had removed the feature of providing a hosted URL from the free plan and instead only provided an HTML version of the document. Of course hosting a document is a simple thing to do and I knew that I would come across this issue again. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’re familiar with GitHub and GitHub Pages. Being that these documents are always intended to be public, GitHub Pages seemed like an ideal place to host the documents. And while it was easy enough to manually copy the document from termly.io by using the provided button, and then commit the file to a Git repo, and then setup GitHub Pages, and then point DNS ( à la Cloudflare) to GitHub, and then… well I think you get the point. Small but mundane, repetitive steps which could be automated.
So was born Policies and it’s companion Chromium Extension Policies Extension. The extension is open source on GitHub and it’s easy enough to add support for other policy document generators. Currently supported are termly.io and formswift.com with getterms.io to follow.
So basically the Policies tool brings back the hosted feature and even improves upon things by being backed by Git version control and the robust hosting infrastructure of GitHub which ensures the policies are always available
Originally published at https://blog.june07.com on December 23, 2020.