Online Shopper Opposes Shopify’s Motion to Dismiss in Data Privacy Class Action

The California consumer who sued Shopify Inc. and two corporate relatives is resisting dismissal, arguing that Shopify needs to answer for its alleged surreptitious collection of shoppers’ financial data.“Given the lengths to which Defendants have exploited consumer data, it should come as no surprise that they launch a litany of defenses,” Wednesday’s opposition says.

Therein, the shopper reiterates assertions that Shopify, which operates an e-commerce platform providing payment processing services to millions of online merchants, secretly tracks and collects details about consumers’ financial transactions. Further, the consumer argues that Shopify amalgamates those details into profiles then shares the information with their own merchants and third parties. The defendants reportedly facilitate this underhanded data collection by “concealing their presence on merchants’ websites with embedded software.”

The opposition, filed in the Northern District of California, comes in response to the three Shopify entities’ separately submitted motions to dismiss the second amended complaint last month. 

This week’s filing contends that the court has personal jurisdiction over Shopify Payments (USA) Inc., a Delaware incorporated and headquartered company, contrary to Shopify’s arguments otherwise. The consumer also argues that he has provided sufficient notice of the suit under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and grouping the defendants is appropriate.

Too, the opposition bolsters the plaintiff’s various claims, including those brought under the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), and for common law intrusion upon seclusion. With regard to his CIPA causes of action, the plaintiff explains why he has satisfied the elements of those claims. 

For example, the litigant presses that the defendants unlawfully intercepted his communication with the merchant through whom he purchased goods online. “Shopify Payment admits that it handles ‘payment data transmission,’” meaning it “intercepted a communication while it was in transit,” in violation of CIPA provisions, the opposition explains.

The motion hearing is scheduled for April 28 before Judge Phyllis Hamilton.

The plaintiff is represented by Gutride Safier LLP and the Shopify entities by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.