Announcing a New Standard for Online Privacy
Announced today, the Global Privacy Control (“GPC”) is a new standard web browsers and websites can use, to simplify making and handling online privacy requests – particularly requests like “Do Not Sell” (do not sell my data to third parties without my consent).
Such online privacy requests have recently been possible due to new consumer privacy laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Europe’s GDPR, but consumers have lacked tools and standards to invoke their newly-won privacy rights.
Now, rather than having to click on individual links across many websites, internet users can invoke their rights in one step via the “Global Privacy Control” (GPC), which is required under the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). Europe similarly empowers citizens with the ability to object to third party processing under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
It’s Time for a Much-Needed Change
Making digital privacy laws both simple for consumers and clear enough for the industry, has long been the Achilles heel of such regulation. In fact, the industry has relied upon this “nothing will happen in practice” understanding to avoid both real investment and real change.
This industry attitude towards privacy / digital relevant laws like data breach notification, or the prior Do Not Track standard (which produced only stagnation) needs to change.
At Abine, we support the GPC as a necessary step to change this culture of indifference in the industry. How will this change the status quo? By offering a clear, simple standard with a growing list of web distribution partners to seed it with consumers – and, most importantly, a standard that is tied to legally-enforceable edicts. Together, these can provide a potentially effective cocktail – and one that has not yet been tried.
How to Add GPC to Your Browser
As a consumer, you can enable Global Privacy Control by installing a supported browser or extension such as Blur by Abine or by going to the official Global Privacy Control website to download one of the other participating browsers and extensions from the EFF, DuckDuckGo, Brave, Mozilla, and Disconnect. Soon more browsers and websites will support GPC.
Abine Blur and Setting Your GPC in Google Chrome
If you are an existing Blur user, you can simply make sure you have the latest version of Blur running and click on the “B” browser icon. Clicking on the blue top bar “Trackers Blocked” section will reveal a window you can toggle your GPC setting on at any site.
Here’s how you can choose to turn on the setting for a single website:
Here’s how you can turn on the GPC setting globally for all websites you visit:
Here’s what Blur will look like when you enable the GPC setting when visiting a GPC compliant website:
Here’s what Blur will look like when you visit a website that doesn’t yet support GPC standards:
With the Blur extension powered by Global Privacy Control, that’s all you need to do to start invoking your privacy rights automatically as you browse.
What’s Next for Global Privacy Control
The launch of GPC is a meaningful step in changing how the industry accepts and handles privacy requests, ensuring consumers have more control over what is done with their private data. As more users assert their rights using Global Privacy Control tools and more websites adopt the standard handling these requests, pressure will increase on other websites to adopt the GPC standard.
At present, the Global Privacy Control signal is intended to communicate two privacy preferences – a specific Do Not Sell request, as protected by the CCPA, and a general request to limit the sale of data, as protected by GDPR. However, with time, the GPC signal may evolve to communicate additional rights in other jurisdictions.