GDPR, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation that came into effect on 25th May 2018. So as a WooCommerce store owner, what all you should know about GDPR? Are you complying with the GDPR regulations? Is your WooCommerce store following the GDPR laws for its EU customers. Read on to know more about GDPR and how it affects your WooCommerce business.
What is GDPR?
GDPR is a law that concerns itself with the handling of personal data of European Union (EU) residents. GDPR hopes to give EU residents more visibility and control over their personal data. If your WooCommerce store sells to EU residents, this law applies to you. Even if you aren’t in the EU.
The non-compliance fines can run into millions of dollars. The standard maximum amount is approximately $12 million or 2% of annual worldwide turnover. Google was fined $56.6 million for a violation in 2019. These fines get levied on companies both in and outside the EU. WooCommerce store owners will need to ask for consent. Also, they need to detail their use of personal data.
Even if EU residents don’t buy from your store, their personal information gets collected. Let’s say they visit your site, or send you a message through a form. They could even write a comment or subscribe to a newsletter. All the above activities use either an email address, name, or IP address.
GDPR applies to the personal data of a consumer. Personal data could mean anything that can identify a person. Either on its own or combined with other data. For e.g., a person’s name, physical address, phone number, IP address, shipping tracking numbers, and more.
What Are the GDPR Policies?
A generalisation of what the GDPR says about collecting information about an EU citizen is as follows:
- Users can access and take the information with them.
- Users have the ability to delete their information.
- Inform users about, who you are, why you collect the information, for how long the information is being collected. Also, tell them about who will be the ultimate owner/receiver of the collected information.
- Get user consent before collecting any information about the user.
- Inform users if a data breach ever happens.
GDPR and WooCommerce
WooCommerce itself does not receive or store usage data. Unless the store owners opted in to run the usage tracker on their website. But, WooCommerce does include tools and resources that make it easier to handle access and erase requests. When it comes to extensions, the amount of data, whether collected or not will vary depending on the plugin.
As a WooCommerce store owner, you need to understand GDPR. This only applies to you if you have products intended for EU customers or if your store gets visitors from the EU. To know, if you get visitors from the EU, you can use certain SEO tools (HotJar, Google Analytics, Live Traffic feed, etc.). Track the traffic to your store. Identify their geographic location.
GDPR is stronger and restrictive than the “EU cookie law“. A website gets labelled as GDPR-complaint on the basis of how it’s created and set up. Moreover, it depends on how the user information is being used and processed on the site.
- What data does this store collect about users?
- What does the store do with the data and why?
- Who does the store share the data with?
- How long does this store keep the data?
- How can users access, update, or delete the collected data?
The update of the GDPR policy will be an important step for store owners. Besides this, it will also be a pivotal milestone to protect user data and user privacy. The entire GDPR model hopes to secure and protect a user’s confidential information. The GDPR framework helps the consumer understand how the site complies with GDPR.
How Can Virtina Help – WooCommerce GDPR?
You cannot afford to overlook GDPR norms for your WooCommerce website. You may want to appoint someone to lead this effort. The Data Protection Officer will handle this task. If you don’t have any resources, then the responsibility lies on you.
It can prove a bit hectic, understanding and unraveling all the GDPR facts. You may want to consult a WooCommerce certified expert. Appoint eCommerce experts to take charge of your business’ data protection compliance.
Store owners might not know where all the data gets stored. We will do a test order at your store. Once done, we will use it to flesh out your procedure. We will identify the plugins that are providing data without your knowledge. We will also help to identify plugins that store data on the side.
We will access the WooCommerce settings and account information. From there on, our Woo experts will help you control and limit automatic erasure of personal data. Doing a deep dive helps us to identify the data for each visitor on your store. We can also help in exporting a person’s personal data.
Our Woo experts are the best partners to guide and update you on WooCommerce GDPR best practices. Virtina as a verified Woocommerce expert will establish if your online store collects information of any EU citizen. We’ll also help to check if it gets visits from an EU location, to make your WooCommerce store stays GDPR compliant.
- Put someone in charge of the store data.
- Decide how users should make privacy-specific requests.
- Prepare for and respond to right to erasure or access requests.
- Keep updated about future changes in privacy laws.
Conclusion – WooCommerce GDPR
GDPR is a significant landmark to understand how various websites track, collect and use consumer data. It tells us what information gets collected and shared, when customers interact with a store. Store owners need to disclose how and why you collect personal data. How long do you keep the info, and who you choose to share it with.