Senior Legal Counsel, Privacy (Remote - US or Canada)


Canada Remote

Full time

Oct 31

This job is no longer accepting applications.

About the role

Shopify is now permanently remote and working towards a future that is digital by default. Learn more about what this can mean for you.

Shopify is the world’s fastest growing commerce platform, with no plans to slow down, powering over 1 million stores in more than 175 different countries. Our mission within the Legal Team is to work behind the scenes to help Shopify make commerce better for everyone. We must be able to apply our knowledge and experience in order to protect Shopify’s interests in a way that allows our business to stay agile and competitive. 

About the team

Shopify’s Privacy & Intellectual Property (“IP”) Team is a small but growing part of our broader Legal Team. The Team works closely with senior management and Shopify’s brilliant research and development (“R&D”) teams to address and mitigate legal risks relating to Shopify’s products and data. In particular, the Privacy & IP Team is responsible for managing Shopify’s privacy and data protection program, building Shopify’s IP portfolio, and managing disputes, regulatory inquiries, and litigation relating to either privacy or intellectual property.   

About You

Shopify is looking for a senior privacy lawyer with extensive privacy and regulatory experience to help oversee our privacy program – the goal is for this role to serve as the day-to-day leader of our privacy team, and as our Data Protection Officer. Are you an experienced in-house privacy counsel who is ready for a new challenge? Do you have experience dealing with data protection authorities, consumer protection regulators, law enforcement, competition authorities, and other types of regulators? Are you comfortable providing pragmatic guidance on privacy and data protection requirements to PMs and devs who are moving a million miles a minute? We are searching for someone with all of these skills, and who is driven, creative and good-humoured to boot.

This is not a “compliance” role - we want privacy lawyers who think big picture, who can help our R&D teams appreciate risks 5 to 10 years down the road, and who can provide pragmatic advice beyond the letter of the law. We also are looking for someone who can help build and manage a team, and help us scale our privacy function at the same exponential pace as the company. We want someone who can help us grow and mature how we handle privacy.

Your​ ​primary​ ​responsibilities​ ​will​ ​be​ ​to​ help advise product, engineering, and business teams on privacy requirements relevant to Shopify’s products. You will spend much of your time on product counseling, assisting with privacy issues that may come up during commercial negotiations, helping with incident response, and advising senior management on the constantly evolving landscape of risks relating to privacy and data protection. You will also ideally help manage interactions with regulators and law enforcement, primarily relating to data and privacy.


  • Product counseling on privacy issues in the realms of financial services, AI and machine learning, autonomous robotics devices, as well as other basic issues relating to e-commerce
  • Responding to inquiries from regulators, law enforcement, and other government authorities
  • Along with the rest of the Privacy team, spending some time on call to assist with the investigation of potential security incidents
  • Helping to train other parts of the company (e.g., our commercial legal team) so they can handle privacy issues that come up during negotiations, and serving as an elevation point during important negotiations


  • A J.D. or LL.B.
  • A license to practice law in your jurisdiction
  • Experience working with privacy and data protection authorities, competition authorities, consumer protection authorities, and/or law enforcement around the world
  • Encyclopedic knowledge of major privacy laws like GDPR, CCPA, and/or PIPEDA
  • A solid understanding of relevant technologies, such as cookie-based tracking, encryption, hashing, tokenization, machine learning, etc.
  • The​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​build​ ​and​ ​maintain​ ​strong​ ​relationships​ ​with​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​people and teams, both internal and external.​ ​​​You​ ​will​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​gain​ ​the​ ​trust​ ​of​ ​a​ ​wide​ ​range​ ​of​ ​folks​ ​at Shopify,​ ​to​ ​speak​ ​to​ ​each​ ​team​ ​“in​ ​their​ ​language,”​ ​and​ ​to​ make them ​feel​ ​comfortable​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​reach​ ​out​ ​when things​ ​go​ ​wrong. You will also need to build trusted relationships with key external stakeholders. You will need to do all of this in a new “Digital by Default” (read, remote) workplace
  • The ability to talk about highly technical products and services with both technical experts and regulators with no technical background
  • A​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on​ ​an​ ​agile,​ ​pragmatic​ ​team.​ ​​​This​ ​is​ ​​not​ ​​“compliance”​ work. This​ ​is​ ​a​ ​risk​ ​management​ ​role,​ ​and​ ​you​ ​will​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​comfortable​ ​providing pragmatic​ responses to a team that is moving quickly and does not have the time for a law school lecture. You should also be comfortable working through issues that may be privacy-adjacent, like competition, consumer protection, or cybersecurity

Bonus Experience

  • A CIPP certification (CIPP/C, CIPP/US, and/or CIPP/E)
  • Litigation experience
  • Experience working in-house, ideally in tech
  • Experience with policy work, particularly relating to privacy and data protection
  • Some background in antitrust and competition law, particularly relating to data and its intersection with privacy
  • An appreciation for Halloween, Karaoke and Trivia night. (The Legal Team takes our Halloween costume contest very seriously).

We know that applying to a new role takes a lot of work and we truly value your time. Vivek Narayanadas, Director, Associate General Counsel, Privacy, is looking forward to reading your cover letter. In your cover letter, please include a paragraph on a privacy issue in the news that has caught your attention recently and what it might mean for Shopify. 

You can expect to hear back from us (regardless of outcome) within 3 weeks from when you applied. 

This posting will close on Monday, November 9, 2020 at 4:00 PM EST.

At Shopify, we are committed to building and fostering an environment where our employees feel included, valued, and heard. Our belief is that a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion enables us to truly make commerce better for everyone. We strongly encourage applications from Indigenous peoples, racialized people, people with disabilities, people from gender and sexually diverse communities and/or people with intersectional identities.

You must be logged in to to apply to this job.


Your application has been successfully submitted.

Please fix the errors below and resubmit.

Something went wrong. Please try again later or contact us.

Personal Information


View resume



Making commerce better for everyone - remotely 💚