Ottawa’s Shopify, Mailchimp end partnership over privacy policy dispute

Shopify

A disagreement over who has the right to customer data has ended a partnership between Ottawa-based Shopify and email services provider Mailchimp.

The Mailchimp plug-in has been removed from the Shopify App Store, though users that had already downloaded Mailchimp’s application have until May 12 to transition to a new email marketing service. It’s on that date that new data sharing provisions in Shopify’s terms of service come into effect – the source of the two firms’ schism.

Mailchimp posted a statement last Friday saying it requested removal from Shopify’s app store in light of new terms that it claims would “jeopardize (its) users’ privacy and require (it) to hand over customer data acquired outside of Shopify.

“From our perspective, that's not our data to share."

“From our perspective, that's not our data to share,” the statement read.

In a statement of its own, Shopify countered that Mailchimp’s unwillingness to give merchants a fulsome picture of their online stores’ performance made the partnership untenable. Shopify said its terms require partners to share all relevant data back to merchants using Shopify API, going as far as to suggest that denying users access to the information affects their ability to comply with privacy regulations.

“The data captured on behalf of our merchants belongs to those merchants, it’s as simple as that,” Shopify’s statement reads. “Mailchimp was not willing to agree to these terms. That’s why Mailchimp has been removed from the Shopify App Store.”

“The data captured on behalf of our merchants belongs to those merchants, it’s as simple as that.”

Elsewhere in its partner ecosystem Monday, Shopify announced a new integration serving merchants in the cannabis industry. Shopify is partnering with Ample Organics to integrate the Toronto-based firm’s seed-to-sale tracking application into the e-commerce company’s store. Ample Organics’ software helps cannabis companies maintain compliance across their growing and shipping operations by tracking pertinent details throughout the process.