Is Shopify HIPAA Compliant?
If you’re a medical worker, HIPPA compliance is a term you’re no doubt familiar with. It means that you need to protect the privacy of your patients’ health information, integrity, and security. If you’re a patient, you know your rights – what you tell your doctor is confidential, along with all your medical records.
But is Shopify safe to use when it comes to your personal health information? How do they store user data on the website, and is it protected from potential third-party abuse? This article provides all the information you need.
Shopify and HIPAA Rules
Shopify is HIPAA compliant. The team in charge of these regulations makes sure all the rules are observed. Your health-related information is safe because the employees cover all the administrative and technical aspects of data protection. In turn, the data-protection processes are compliant with all the laws and industry standards.
How Shopify Protects Your Data
There are several ways in which Shopify keeps your health-related data safe. By storing it in an offsite backup database, and by encrypting it.
1. Physical Safety of Your Data
If Shopify comes into possession of any health-related information of yours, it’ll be sent to a top-class data center within the U.S.
None of the data will ever leave the country of origin.
These top-class centers are highly protected by professionals. This consists of security guards and cameras, as well as electronic card keys, which means no physical break-ins are possible. Also, it relates to a team of technicians who are always present on-site and ready to deal with any potential issues.
In case of a system failure or a potential virus attack or hacking, it’s possible to recover the data thanks to the offsite backup. It’s automated and crucial for the company’s recovery plan, which is also required by HIPAA. There must be a contingency plan that covers emergency response, data recovery, and more, and it needs to be in writing.
2. Data Encryption
First of all, the customer is required to create an encryption key. It’s also called the c-key. And it’s personal, so no one else will know it but you. This data will be backed up and stored in one of the Shopify data centers.
How do they transfer the information to their data centers? In a secure way. They use a safe SSL connection, and before they even begin the transfer, they create additional encryption with a 256-bit AES encryption key.
An extra layer of protection refers to a password anyone must use to access this data, apart from the correct encryption key.
What Does Data Security Mean for Shop Owners on Shopify?
According to Shopify’s terms of service, you’re responsible for the data collected on your webpage. You’re also responsible for any information you come into possession of in any other way. When you start your shop, you need to agree to the rules and laws related to data collection and security. This doesn’t only apply to health-related data, but all, including personal and financial information from your customers.
What does this mean if you’re a client and not a shop owner? The website you’re purchasing products from has agreed to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation, which is HIPAA compliant too. Your data is secured and won’t be provided to a third party. Your information may only be shared with law representatives in case Shopify suspects a violation of any service agreements committed by the shop owner.
Can You Buy Pharmaceuticals on Shopify?
Although your health information is protected on Shopify, selling pharmaceuticals and similar products isn’t allowed on this platform. This prohibition refers to pseudo-pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and other products that claim to have health benefits, but don’t have the official approval of an institution.
This regulation includes any substances that have the same or similar effects to drugs or devices used in making or consuming drugs.
The Three Key Areas in HIPAA
Shopify makes sure the three critical components of the HIPAA are followed to a T.
These refer to the physical safety of your data, administrative and technical security, so that the information can be recovered in case of a system failure or a natural disaster.
HIPAA compliance is an essential factor that both shop owners and customers need to be aware of in case of potential problems.
Did you know how personal data is stored and kept safe? Have you ever experienced issues related to the HIPAA regulations? Let us know in the comments section below.