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Shopify Stores Privacy Policy: What you need to know?

By Securiti Research Team
Published May 24, 2023

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Shopify has made it incredibly easy for businesses to build an online store with a sleek and streamlined dashboard that allows the sale of products via social media, digital marketplaces, blogs, emails, and other public forums.

But since this degree of reach requires the collection of user data, Shopify stores are subject to data regulations just like any other online platform. Out of the many obligations placed by these regulations, the creation of a privacy policy can be the easiest to comply with, but only if executed properly.

Hence, regardless of whether someone plans to set up a new Shopify store or already has an established one, they may find themselves legally obligated to create a Shopify privacy policy that contains all the necessary details and information related to the store’s privacy practices that any visiting users ought to know.

Read on below to learn more about what information should be included in such a policy, specific requirements per major data regulations, and, most importantly, the most effective and efficient way to deploy a compliant privacy policy on your Shopify store.

Reasons Why a Privacy Policy is Required For a Shopify Store

A Shopify store needs a privacy policy if it relies on processing users’ personal information to conduct business. There are other benefits as well as reasons for having a privacy policy.

Compliance with Privacy Laws

The most immediate reason a Shopify store may need a privacy policy is data privacy laws that mandate the need for such a privacy policy. Various regulations worldwide require websites that process users’ data in any way to have a privacy policy explaining how and why a website collects users’ data and how such data is further processed. Some regulations have detailed provisions on what information must be included and how prominently the privacy policy page should be presented on the website’s homepage.

Depending on which laws a Shopify store is subject to, it may need constant tweaks in its privacy policy to ensure compliance with all legal requirements it is subject to.

Reduce Risks

This is an extension of the aforementioned point. A well-drafted privacy policy is vital to achieving compliance with data protection regulations and helping avoid any legal disputes arising from a lack of transparency related to the Shopify store’s data processing practices.

And if, in the worst-case scenario, a lawsuit against the Shopify store is filed, a privacy policy that is clear, concise, and unambiguous about the store’s use, collection, storage, and potential sharing of user data can be incredibly helpful.

Build Trust

A privacy policy can be a tremendously beneficial tool for the Shopify store if appropriately used. After all, it is the most effective method of communication the store has with its users.

An easy-to-read and transparent privacy policy that informs the users of your data collection practices and intent not only leaves the users more knowledgeable but helps build the kind of trust and confidence required for a Shopify store to thrive in the long term.

What to Include in Your Shopify Store Privacy Policy

Different laws may vary with respect to their minimum requirements regarding the format and content of privacy policies. Moreover, each business needs to develop its privacy policy in a manner that best suits its business model and consumers while also adhering to the legal requirements.

Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what information a privacy policy page must include. However, an excellent approach to ensuring that a website has all its bases covered is to include the following fundamental information:

  • What personal information the website collects;
  • How this personal information is collected;
  • How long this personal information will be stored - if the exact period cannot be identified, consumers should be informed of the criteria used to determine such a period;
  • Why is this information collected;
  • What is the legal basis for the collection of such information;
  • How can users request an end to such data collection;
  • How the collected information is used;
  • All the security measures and mechanisms in place to protect such collected information;
  • Whether such collected information is shared or sold to third parties, especially in other countries;
  • The existence of data subject rights and how they can be exercised; and
  • Name and contact information of the data controller or their representative.

Again, the information mentioned above is only the most basic information your privacy policy should include. Depending on various factors, such as which regulations your Shopify store is subject to and what kind of personal data your store processes, various other information may also need to be included, such as the contact information of your organization’s data protection officer or details related to what marketing analytical tools your store uses.

How to Add a Privacy Policy Page to Your Shopify Store

Shopify’s interface is incredibly straightforward and user-friendly when it comes to setting up a privacy page.

  • Head over to the Online Store side panel on the Shopify homepage;
  • Scroll down to Add Page;
  • In the new section, add your page’s title, “Privacy Policy;”
  • Now, add the policy content to the content field;
  • Click on Save.

The privacy policy should now be live on your website’s footer for everyone to view.

The policy content can be written manually, or you can use an online Privacy Policy generator to craft the content for you.

Laws Requiring You To Have A Privacy Policy

As mentioned earlier, most data protection regulations require websites to have privacy policies. Here’s where some major regulations stand on the matter:

GDPR

The GDPR has been the blueprint for several data protection regulations globally. It remains one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation on the subject. Hence, it is no surprise that there are detailed provisions about what information a data controller should provide to their data subjects.

Per the GDPR requirements, your privacy policy or any notice regarding the processing of personal data must contain, inter alia, the following information:

  • The store’s contact details;
  • The name and contact details of any representative/employee of the store who can cater to consumer queries/complaints;
  • The purposes and the lawful basis for the processing of personal data;
  • The rights of the users to withdraw consent if the processing is based on their consent;
  • Data retention policy - how long the data will be stored and if such period cannot be specified, the criteria used to determine such period;
  • The information about data subject rights and how they can exercise those rights;
  • Whether the consumer is obliged to provide personal data and the possible consequences of failure to provide such data;
  • The data protection authority the users can contact for complaints;
  • The recipients or categories of recipients of the personal data;
  • The specifics of any overseas transfer of personal data and any possible risks to personal data; and
  • The safeguards that are in place for the transfer of data outside the EU.

PIPEDA

The PIPEDA, as per its principle of Openness, requires organizations to be open about their policies and practices regarding the management of personal information.

In accordance with the PIPEDA, a Shopify store’s privacy policy must contain information on the following:

  • The name or title and the address of the store’s representative/employee who is accountable for the store’s policies and practices and to whom complaints or inquiries can be sent;
  • Information on how users can gain access to personal information held by the store;
  • A copy of any brochures or other information that explain the store’s policies, standards, or codes;
  • Information on what types of personal information the store holds; and
  • Disclosure of what personal information the store makes available to related organizations.

CPRA

The CPRA regulations have reasonably specific requirements for the privacy policies that websites should have. The Californian regime places emphasis on transparency in relation to a business’ practices and facilitation of the provision of information regarding consumer privacy rights.

As such, a privacy policy as per the CPRA should contain, inter alia, the following information:

  • A comprehensive description of the business’s online and offline information practices;
  • Information regarding the collection, disclosure and sale or sharing of personal information, including the purposes of collection and the categories of information that have been disclosed;
  • An explanation of the rights that the CCPA confers on consumers regarding their personal information, including the right to delete personal information, the right to correct inaccurate personal information, the right to opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information, and the right to limit the use or disclosure of sensitive personal information;
  • ​​Statement of actual knowledge that the business sells or shares the personal information of consumers under 16 years of age;
  • Information on how authorized agents can make requests on behalf of consumers;
  • Date the privacy policy was last updated; and
  • Information on how users can exercise their consumer privacy rights.

How Can Securiti Help?

Shopify stores, like most other online platforms, now find themselves subject to multiple data regulations owing to their operations in different countries. Compliance with these regulations can often be complicated, but automation can make this task much easier.

One such case is that of the privacy policy. Depending on which regulation a Shopify store is subject to, it may need to inculcate various tweaks within its privacy policy. While it can be done manually, such an approach is neither efficient nor effective.

This is where Securiti can help.

Securiti is a market leader in providing data governance and compliance solutions. With its fully functional Privacy Center, organizations can ensure the compliance of their privacy-related resources and functionalities with all applicable data protection laws. In a nutshell, Securiti’s Privacy Center automates all privacy-related functions of a website, such as a cookie & GPC preferences, DSR requests, Do Not Track signals, and the privacy policy.

Sign up for the Privacy Center now.

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