Q&A with Donata Kalnenaite of Termageddon helps consultants with privacy policy needs

q&A with Donata

Donata Kalnenaite is the President of Termageddon. She started the company with her fiance, Hans Skillrud, to help businesses with privacy policies, terms, and disclaimers for their websites.

Laws for these areas are changing rapidly, and Termageddon provides a platform to keep them updated to be compliant with laws.

Donata is a privacy and technology attorney licensed in the state of Illinois.

Further, she is the Vice-Chair and the Newsletter Editor of the American Bar Association’s ePrivacy Committee and the Chair of the Chicago Chapter of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

She serves as the legal engineer for Termageddon’s policy questionnaires, text, and all of the different variations.

In her spare time, she volunteers as a beekeeper for a local farm and saves chickens from pesky raccoons.

Donata Kalnenaite noticed she asked the same questions and use similar language for small businesses who need privacy policies.

She was working as a private attorney, and web design agencies were sending her small businesses to help with Privacy Policies and Terms of Use.

Additionally, she noticed that small businesses really didn’t have the budget to afford to have these generated.

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She believed that an affordable option could be created. She and her fiance, Hans Skillrud, decided to launch Termageddon to fill this problem.

Today we visit with Donata to learn more about Termageddon and how it helps agencies with Privacy Policies, Terms of Service, Disclaimers for sites that collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

 

Why did you decide to create Termageddon?

I co-founded Termageddon with my fiance, Hans Skillrud. Before Termageddon, I was in private practice, writing contracts for web design agencies. They would often refer clients to me who needed a Privacy Policy and/or a Terms of Service for their new websites. They were mostly small businesses, and I noticed that when I was writing their policies, I was asking them very similar questions (e.g., what PII  [Personally identifiable information] does your website collect, what do you do with that PII, and who do you share it with).

I also noticed that I was using similar text for the policies, so it all dawned on me that there should be a way to automate this job and make it much more efficient and cost-effective.

On the other hand, my fiance, Hans, was running his own web design company, and his clients were asking him where they should go to get a Privacy Policy. A lot of his clients couldn’t afford to pay thousands of dollars for an attorney, and the generators on the market at the time wouldn’t really partner with agencies or give them anything in exchange for the referrals, which was unfair.

We were talking about these problems over dinner one night, and that’s how the idea for Termageddon was born – an affordable generator of policies that partners with agencies to help their clients.

What was the biggest challenge of getting Termageddon to market?

While I work at Termageddon full time now, Termageddon initially started as a side project. At the time, I was running a full law firm practice, and it was difficult to manage and balance my time between my law firm clients and Termageddon.

How did you overcome any challenges of getting Termageddon to market? What did you learn?

To be honest, I just hunkered down and worked on Termageddon every evening and weekend. It was pretty grueling, but I have to say that I am happy that we started Termageddon as a side project because that allowed us to organically grow the company and come on the staff as full salaried employees.

I learned that a lot of entrepreneurs will sacrifice their nights and weekends, but if you do so, the rewards can be great.

Donata the beekeeper
Donata, the beekeeper

Can you describe how Termegaddon helps a website designer?

We partner with website designers (both agencies and freelancers) in our Agency Partners Program.

With this program, we provide website designers with one free license for their own website so that they can protect themselves and ensure that our product is sound.

We also provide partners with a way to make some extra recurring revenue – our partners can purchase our licenses at wholesale rates and then resell them to their clients for the retail rate or work with us as an affiliate.

Termageddon is a great way for agencies or freelancers to both protect their clients and make some extra recurring revenue.

What will website designers be surprised to learn about Termageddon?

We have over 2,500 agency partners who have had great success reselling or recommending our platform to their clients. It’s been absolutely amazing to see the wonderful response that agencies have received from their clients.

In fact, some agencies have had their clients take them out to lunch or purchase more of their services because they have recommended a policy solution and greatly reduced the stress of privacy law compliance.

I think that agencies and freelancers are also surprised to learn that we help take their clients through the policy generation process, further reducing the stress of compliance.

Is this only available for the United States, or is it available in other countries? Canada? The UK? other?

Our Privacy Policy generator is available for companies formed in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

We are working on adding Canada and United Kingdom compatibility to our Terms of Service generator, and we hope to have that completed soon as currently, it is only available to our United States customers only. We hope to add compatibility with more countries soon!

Do you have a legal team who looks over the product to ensure the templates are sound for customers? How does that work?

While I am the primary legal engineer for Termageddon, we have had multiple attorneys review our questionnaire and policies to ensure that they are sound for our customers.

Regardless of your experience and education in a particular field, I think that it’s always important to get a second or third opinion to ensure that you haven’t missed anything.

It’s interesting to note that law firms are our second-biggest market, and we have hundreds of lawyers and law firms using our policies for their own websites.

We actually have quite a few law firms even reselling our policies to their clients, and working with lawyers has been an absolute pleasure.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish with Termageddon in the next few years?

My goal is to have Termageddon be the most comprehensive policy generator in the market. We’re there with our Privacy Policy generator and are working on updating and re-engineering our other policies to have more options and to encompass more business types.

I also hope to launch Australian compatibility soon and then move on to other countries as well.

Wrapping it up

Privacy policies have become more and more critical. With the advent of the GDPR and other laws, websites will need to be diligent, keeping up with the latest info.

A service like Termageddon provides an easy and affordable solution for small businesses and agencies alike.

Learn more about Termageddon here and here.

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