Latest LearnDash update focuses on GDPR.

In the world of software sometimes you make exciting updates, and then other times you make necessary ones. The coming LearnDash update falls into the latter category.

Today’s update centers on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If this is the first time you have heard of GDPR, then you can learn more about it from the European Commission’s Data Protection page.

This article is strictly about how LearnDash (the software) has been updated so that your LearnDash powered learning programs are compliant.

Please note that this post is in no means meant to be perceived as legal advice or guidance for GDPR compliance, but it is instead meant to provide you with a description of the tools in LearnDash that help you be compliant as it relates only to our software. You should consult an attorney to ensure that your business is fully GDPR compliant.

What data does LearnDash LMS collect?

Before jumping into the GDPR specific features in LearnDash I want to take a moment to discuss the data that the plugin specifically collects about users.

The LearnDash plugin stores a user’s course progress, including completion status, quiz scores, assignments and/or essay submissions (if applicable). Also, WordPress stores comments on courses, lessons, topics, assignments, and essays if these features are activated.

LearnDash does not store the email address (or any personal information) as part of the course progress. We only store the course, lesson, topic, and quiz IDs.

In addition to the general learner data when taking courses, the LearnDash plugin also stores transaction data if you are selling courses using the built-in PayPal feature, the Stripe add-on, SamCart add-on, or the 2Checkout add-on. When processing payments some data will be passed to the payment gateway (PayPal, Stripe, SamCart, and/or 2Checkout depending), including information required to process or support the payment, such as the email address, purchase total, and billing information.

How does LearnDash help you be GDPR Compliant?

Data Options

Recently WordPress released a maintenance and privacy update specifically adding functionality to help you comply with GDPR requirements. This update included the important ability for you to export and erase personal data (found under the TOOLS menu).

The good news for you is that the LearnDash plugin hooks right into this functionality, making GDPR related requests convenient for you to manage.

This means that if one of your learners requests their personal data then you just need to use the built-in WordPress ability to export their account information. The same is true with data deletion.

Privacy Policy Guide


GDPR requires that businesses outline in their Privacy Policy how they collect and use any supplied personal data on their site.

To help you with this, the recent WordPress update implemented a Privacy Policy Guide feature found under SETTINGS > PRIVACY.

This tool is actually pretty neat as it organizes a Privacy Policy for you and all you need to do is customize it depending on your own business.

When on the Privacy Policy Guide, you will see a section titled “LearnDash LMS”. Here we have provided you with starter content for your Privacy Policy as it relates to the LearnDash plugin. Simply click the “Copy” button, paste it into your Privacy Policy, and make any modifications as needed.

How to Update

All of this new functionality is available for you today in LearnDash v2.5.8.

For a full list of the updates in this version of LearnDash, please see the changelog.

Note: You must be using WordPress v4.9.6 in order to take advantage of the GDPR features.

What’s Coming Up

As you would expect, GDPR sidetracked our normal development for a moment – but now we are back at it! While we have a few concurrent projects at present, the most important include:

  • Preparing LearnDash to be “Gutenberg ready” (more details here)
  • Working on LearnDash 3.0

Both of these are rather large undertakings and very exciting.

Thank you so much for choosing us as your learning management system. Your positive feedback has been incredibly motivating for our team as we continue to evolve.

Until next time!

PS: Don’t have LearnDash yet? Join us!

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. He is currently founder & CEO of GapScout. Justin's Homepage | GapScout | Twitter


12 responses

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Hi justin,
Thank you and thanks to LearnDash team for the great contentious efforts.

After i updated LearnDash today, a message appeared in learning Profile” under Registered courses” The message is as following:

( Division by zero in /home/pmvision/public_html/wp-content/plugins/sfwd-lms/includes/course/ld-course-progress.php on line 1468)

Any suggestion to solve this. Please note it only appear if i log in as administrator, when i log in as a student it doesn’t appear


Hi Nawras!

Thanks for the comment. Nothing has changed in that line of code in a number of versions. Does the course in question have any steps? This would be a PHP warning, not a fatal error. So one immediate suggestion would be to turn off PHP error reporting. Feel free to raise a ticket with us as well if you prefer – thanks!

Thanks for the quick response. If it is not a fatal error so no need to raise a ticket. I turned off PHP error reporting and the issue is solved.

Thanks again

Best wishes

Hi Justin, the information under the heading “How does LearnDash help you be GDPR Compliant?” sort of created the impression that the user’s use of LearnDash (e.g. quiz results) would also be exported. By testing it out, though, this doesn’t happen. Did I misread the section? Are there plans to allow LearnDash usage data to be exported?

Avatar Donal Elsted

Hi Donal-

Thanks for the note. By default the quiz does not collect any personal data as defined by GDPR. We made sure to include just the GDPR required data into the new functionality.

How do you handle the opt-in during checkout to the privacy policy currently?

Avatar Robert

You can add a checkbox to the built-in PayPal or Stripe add-on with a filter. Open a ticket w/support and they can send it to you.

I’m eagerly awaiting these updates, looking for an improvement to quizzes. But perhaps there’s already some functionality I have overlooked: when a user has completed their quiz, upon revisiting the Quiz, they’re not presented with their results – the blank quiz is presented again.

I want a user’s results to be saved and presented back to them – would rather the freechoice/multichoice/open text fields were populated but available for change, but would also accept the quiz results simply being displayed.

What am I missing here? Or is this not provided functionality?

Avatar Jason

I’m not sure what it is you’re referring to, my apologies. GDPR update is already available. Regarding the quiz, results are always saved on the profile (including their selected answers via the statistics icon). They cannot be changed after submission.

Hey Justin,

thanks for this article. My question is: Is it still possible to use learndash in 2021 in compliance with data protection regulations in the sense of the GDPR?

I ask because European Court struck down in 2020 the European Union-United States Privacy Shield framework (EU-U.S. Privacy Shield).

I know that you cannot guarantee in every case that Learndash can be used in compliance with data protection but I want to know if it is possible at all in 2021.

Avatar Andreas

Hey Justin, thanks, that is very good : )

But just to be sure, I ask a little more specific:

I would like to use Learndash for an employee portal where employees are supposed to take some tests.The portal is of course free of charge for the employees. I create the employee accounts myself via WordPress and send them the login data.

But now comes the crucial question:)
When the employees take the tests, will you save any results (also anonymously) on your own servers? And if so, can I somehow prevent this data transfer?

Comments are closed.

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