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Privacy Policy Template

How to Create a Shopify Privacy Policy 

Privacy Policy Template

Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world, so it’s no surprise that many businesses use this platform to sell their products online. If this includes you, there are many questions and decisions you’ll need to face. One area that will come up is how to create a privacy policy for your store. The good news is we’ve created a free template specifically for use with Shopify (and other similar programs). It includes all of the information and requirements needed, so you can focus on building your business.

To download our free Shopify privacy policy template click the button below, or read on to learn more about this topic.

A Crash Course on Privacy Policies

In the early days of e-commerce, customers had no expectation that their purchase data would be tracked. But today this is a given, and privacy policies are one of the most critical parts of any business website. This is because they help protect companies from lawsuits due to security breaches or mishandling of customer data, as well as provide transparency for buyers so they know how their data will be handled.  

Why Shopify Stores Need Privacy Policies

Privacy policies are necessary for all online stores. They can protect your business from potential exposure to legal ramifications and make customers feel safe with their information being stored on your site. And while there are countless reasons why a privacy policy is necessary, every e-commerce site especially needs one to: 

  • Gain customer trust. Once you come out and clearly state why you’re collecting customer information, consumers become more inclined to assist with service improvements. Your brand, product quality, and supply chain all benefit from the level of honesty attached to a good privacy policy.
  • Secure your business. Businesses are constantly under threat from hackers. When push comes to shove, an easy to understand privacy policy will save you from a lot of legal fees. Something as simple as an indemnity clause can save you millions in damage.

International Data Privacy Laws

In this age of globalization and plenty of international store traffic, it’s important to understand international data privacy laws. Because as a Shopify store owner, you are not only required to follow data privacy laws in your jurisdiction, but you must do so for the countries that your customers live in, as well.

Your website may be accessed in other countries and your visitors or customers can come from anywhere. So, you need to know what the laws are for data privacy in those countries. Here’s a quick list of the laws that govern online data collection and usage.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR regulation includes strict guidelines you should consider when storing data about visitors to your site. For example, it requires companies that use individuals’ personal information to give them notice and get their consent before collecting this information — even if they are not located within the EU. GDPR also states that any collected information must only be used for specific purposes, such as providing services requested by the customer or fulfilling contractual agreements with them. 

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

PIPEDA is a Canadian law that regulates how companies can use personal information. This includes the disclosure of personal information, the collection and retention of it, and what happens to it when someone leaves your company or dies. It also covers how you use this data for marketing purposes and who has access to it within your company. As an owner of a Shopify store, understanding PIPEDA laws are crucial for safeguarding customer data. 

Australian Privacy Act

The Australian Privacy Act, which came into force in 1988, was designed to protect the privacy and personal data of individuals. It’s enforced by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and ensures that any individual has a right to access their own personal information held by an organization. The act also covers how organizations may collect, use, or disclose information about individuals. If your business collects sensitive information from customers such as credit card numbers or medical history, it’s important you comply with these rules for protecting customer privacy. 

If you’re running a Shopify store from outside the US, make sure to review and conform to the most stringent privacy policy to date — the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA). While it was specifically drafted for California residents, it covers the scope of most other states as well. 

What to Include in Your Shopify Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy Template Checklist

It’s important to include these sections in your Shopify privacy policy so you’re complying with international laws on digital privacy protection. To make sure you don’t miss anything, use a template meant for privacy policies as your foundation.

  1. Your contact details should be clearly visible. For Shopify stores, this includes business location. For dropshipping shops this would be the registered address of your business.
  2. Include a clear description of the data you capture from your customers and how you go about collecting it.
  3. State your motives for collecting any piece of data upfront. If you’ll share it with third party entities, make the reason and frequency clear. Link to your cookie policy when explaining this for better clarity.
  4. How long you’ll keep data should be stated as well. Some laws require that you not indefinitely store customer data. 
  5. Shipping procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic need to be outlined, to avoid agitating your customers. 
  6. It’s best to include customer support changes and COVID-19 guidelines in your Shopify store privacy policy (as opposed to other areas of your store). 

In addition to these items, make sure to go through the specific laws for the regions you want to do business in and include any requirements. 

Shopify Privacy Policy FAQs

I you still want to know more about Shopify privacy policies, here are some answers to common questions on the subject.

How do I create a privacy policy on Shopify?

Before setting your privacy policy in stone, make sure you either have all the requirements met for your target regions, or at least a custom Shopify privacy policy template that covers them.

Once you have this covered, head over to your Shopify store admin section and navigate to Settings > Legal

You should have permission to alter both the refund and privacy policy pages. Scroll to the privacy policy section and enter your policy text in the text field. Better yet, once you have acquired a privacy policy template, you can paste it into the field and save it to take effect. 

When this is complete, save the text and test the privacy policy links on any other storefront page. They should show your most recent policy changes.

Does Shopify provide a privacy policy?

Shopify can only go as far as providing the space for store owners to insert their own privacy policies. This can easily be explained by the fact that every business has different target regions, obligations, and methods of using any collected data. 

The “use template” option in Shopify will provide a bare-bones passage. Unless you conduct some research and fill in the gaps, you expose your business to a wide spectrum of legal battles, should anything unforeseen happen with customer data. 

Can I create my own privacy policy?

Unless you’re a legal practitioner by profession, it’s not recommended that you create a privacy policy from scratch. However, you could skip the legal fees by using a privacy policy template as the starting point for your own. 

How do I create a privacy policy for an e-commerce website?

E0commerce stores typically collect a lot of data on consumers. This makes it nearly impossible to run such a business without a privacy policy. However, since all e-commerce stores have the same underlying DNA, you can build a privacy policy for multiple platforms stemming from a single template. 

Shopify Privacy Policy Template Download 

Privacy Policy Template for Shopify Store Owners

With everything you know now, this privacy policy template is a good starting point to an ironclad framework that your customers can trust. Enforce it and protect your business by clearly including it on your Shopify store’s footer menu. Keep in mind, this template should not be considered legal guidance, and it’s always a great idea to have an attorney review your policy before publishing. 

To download our free privacy policy template, simply:

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