2018 Report

Our Guiding Principles

Shopify is committed to protecting the privacy of our merchants, customers, partners, and everyone who entrusts us with their personal information. We believe that merchants own their personal information and the personal information of their customers. We are publishing this Transparency Report to:

  • Make commerce better for everyone by building consumer confidence through transparency, as recommended by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
  • Support an informed public debate on privacy rights by joining other members of our industry in reporting on government and other legal requests for access to data.
  • Comply with the spirit of and the principles underlying PIPEDA (the Canadian federal private sector privacy law) and the GDPR (the European Union’s data protection regulation).

Our Process

To protect the privacy of our merchants, customers, and partners, we follow the below process upon receipt of a request to produce information about a merchant, a merchant’s customer, or a partner:

  • We will refuse to disclose personal information without a subpoena or court order issued by a body that has jurisdiction over Shopify.
  • Legal requests must be addressed to the correct Shopify entity (such as Shopify Inc. or Shopify International Limited).
  • We will always notify affected individuals before we disclose information, unless prohibited by law, and minimize the amount of personal information that we disclose.

In 2018, we received 115 legal requests for information. Of those requests, 66 resulted in the disclosure of information, of which we notified the affected individual 45 times. We objected to 49 requests for information.

We review the following factors to ensure that each order is legally and procedurally valid, broken down by heading below:

  • Jurisdiction and authority of requester
  • Type of legal request
  • Shopify location and type of information requested

Information requests by country

In 2018, we received legal requests for information from ten countries.

2018 received requests by country
Information Requests by Country Requests Received
Australia 2
Canada 4
Denmark 2
France 2
Germany 5
India 2
Italy 1
Spain 5
UK 3
USA 89

Types of information requests

In 2018, we received different types of legal requests for information, including Grand Jury Subpoenas, Summons, Preservation Orders, Information Subpoenas, and Certifications of Trustee in Bankruptcy. We did not receive any national security letters, FISA orders, or other classified requests in 2018.

2018 received requests types
Type of Data Request Number received
Certification of Trustee in Bankruptcy 2
Civil Investigative Demand 2
Grand Jury Subpoena 20
Information Subpoena 20
Law Enforcement Request 17
Merchant’s Request Through Counsel 1
Preservation Order 3
Production Order 3
Regulatory Request 1
Search Warrant 3
Subpoena 38
Summons 5

Information requests by Shopify location

In 2018, we received legal requests for information directed to Shopify in various jurisdictions where we operate.

2018 received requests by Shopify location
Requests by Shopify Location Number of requests received
Australia 1
Canada 61
Ireland 3
Not Specified 28
USA 22