The Global Privacy Control (GPC) explained in 500 words - gHacks Tech News

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The Global Privacy Control (GPC) explained in 500 words

The Global Privacy Control (GPC) is a new initiative by researchers, several newspaper organizations from the United States, some browser makers, the EFF, some search engines, and some other organizations to improve user privacy and rights on the Internet.

Summed up in a single sentence, GPC lets sites a user connects to know that the user denies the site the right to sell or share personal information to third-parties.

While that sounds an awful lot like a Do Not Track header 2.0, it is designed to work with existing legal frameworks (and upcoming ones) such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Tip: you can connect to the main GPC website to find out if your browser or app sends the information.

How does it work?

global privacy control

It all begins with a browser, extension or app that supports GPC. Currently, that means using a development version of Brave, the DuckDuckGo app for Android or iOS, or browser extensions by DuckDuckGo, Disconnect, EFF or Abine.

Brave has GPC enabled and without options to turn it off, other browsers, apps or extensions may require users to enable it first. In the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser app for instance, it is necessary to enable Global Privacy Control in the app settings to use it.

For users, that is all there is to it. The browser, app or extension adds the GPC information to the data that is submitted during connections so that sites are aware of it.

The next step depends entirely on the site that the user connects to. Sites that don't participate will ignore the header, and everything remains as if the Global Privacy Control directive does not exist.

If a site participates, it will honor the request and make sure that user data is not shared or sold to third-parties.

Will the GPC become something major?

Do Not Track was launched with much hope that it would change online privacy to the better, but it turned out that it did not. In fact, it could even be used in fingerprinting efforts.

There is a chance that the GPC's fate will be similar. Right now, support is limited to a few extensions, apps, a single desktop browser with marginal market share, and some sites that participate. While some of the participating sites are major, e.g. the New York Times, it is a very limited solution at the moment.

Mozilla and Automattic (WordPress) are also spearheading the effort but have not made any implementations at this point.

Even if these two companies, and maybe others, would implement GPC support, it would still require major Internet companies such as Google, Microsoft or Apple to join as well, and for legislation in other regions of the world to introduce privacy bills, to avoid GPC becoming a Do Not Track 2.0 effort.

Now You: What is your take on the Global Privacy Control?

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The Global Privacy Control (GPC) explained in 500 words
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The Global Privacy Control (GPC) explained in 500 words
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The Global Privacy Control (GPC) is a new initiative to improve user privacy and rights on the Internet.
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Comments

  1. Steve said on October 10, 2020 at 8:39 am
    Reply

    They got it backwards. Make it illegal for any company to sell your information to any third-party unless the user clicks a button that says “I want to sell my soul to the devilm”, followed by a confirmation that asks, “are you sure you want to burn in hell for eternity?” If you finally agree, then, display a “Thank you!” next to an “Amazon $10 coupon discount for Vaseline.” And that is how it is done, for sure.

    1. Anonymous said on October 10, 2020 at 12:38 pm
      Reply

      Nice!!

    2. RobO said on October 10, 2020 at 6:06 pm
      Reply

      Ha ! very funny and very on point

    3. Anonymous said on October 10, 2020 at 6:54 pm
      Reply

      “They got it backwards. Make it illegal for any company to sell your information to any third-party unless the user clicks a button that says “I want to sell my soul to the devil””

      That’s the opt in of GDPR, instead of the opt out of CPPA. And the data processing protection of GDPR goes beyond just selling data. And GDPR prohibits buying consent, with $10 coupon or anything else, because then it’s extorted consent, not free consent. CPPA sucks because the bribes of surveillance capitalists prevented it from becoming a real privacy law.

  2. disable tracking at software level said on October 10, 2020 at 9:57 am
    Reply

    “Summed up in a single sentence, GPC lets sites a user connects to know that the user denies the site the right to sell or share personal information to third-parties.”
    One can never be sure if sites follows what user want, they may still collect and track the user. Use Firefox+ghacks’ user.js config or Torbrowser with disabled Tor network.

  3. Tom Hawack said on October 10, 2020 at 10:02 am
    Reply

    The Global Privacy Control (GPC) is a charming initiative in the same way Do Not Track (DNT) was and it will deploy in the same way : respected by very few and likely never by the GAFAM. Surveillance capitalism (I emphasize on “surveillance” personally) is a fact, the core of the big quasi institutional companies that govern the web and GPC won’t change anything to it.

    1. T J said on October 10, 2020 at 1:25 pm
      Reply

      @Tom Hawack

      GAFAM = Google. Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft.

      Thanks for the Acronym. I had never heard it before but your post has enlightened me. :))

  4. William said on October 10, 2020 at 11:52 am
    Reply

    Probably due to the GDPR, users are paying the price lately. On Facebook and Youtube, for example, an intrusive wall appears which leaves no choice options. The question is not to accept or not to accept but it is the invasiveness of these walls that gives users a sense of dictatorial constraint.

  5. SCBright said on October 10, 2020 at 1:14 pm
    Reply

    Since there is no doubt that greed is often greater than the feeling of honor, it will not work.

    It is necessary to have a law that transcends world borders and that guarantees, through exemplary punishments, the rights of users. Otherwise, I repeat, it will not work as “do not track” does not work.

  6. Terence said on October 10, 2020 at 2:31 pm
    Reply

    … GPC is a really dumb idea (as Tom Hawack politely noted above).

    Its advocatees are extremely naive or perhaps have some hidden motive.

    GPC has no enforcement mechanism at all.
    Vague hints at some future “Legal” enforcement methods are fantasy.

  7. Benjamin said on October 10, 2020 at 4:33 pm
    Reply

    This site alone connects to 26 other domains outside of ghacks.net. Did i give my consent or is there some otber agreement or do i have to expect such behaviour simply because i choose to visit ghacks…

  8. ipnonymous said on October 10, 2020 at 6:04 pm
    Reply

    https://www.donotcall.gov/

    Maybe the GPC initiative will learn from this.

    “The National Do Not Call Registry
    gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls

    You can register your home or mobile phone for free.

    After you register, other types of organizations may still call you, such as charities, political groups, debt collectors and surveys. To learn more, read our FAQs.

    If you received an unwanted call after your number was on the National Registry for 31 days, report it to the FTC.”

    If these organizations still call you after 31 days they are penalized financially!(i forget the amount but remember it as being quite significant)

    Maybe those companies that support the GPC initiative with the support of the people(by sharing this information with others), will gain enough traction to make matters of “the peoples right to privacy” a LEGAL violation.

    1. iponymous said on October 10, 2020 at 6:47 pm
      Reply

      What’s the penalty for companies that illegally call numbers on the Registry?

      Companies that illegally call numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry or place an illegal robocall can currently be fined up to $42,530 per call.

      source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0108-national-do-not-call-registry

  9. Anonymous said on October 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla silent on the details. Will they send it by default in Firefox or not ? This will be yet another test of how far into corruption they have fallen. And another opportunity for their brilliant PR team to invent justifications for not doing it.

  10. VioletMoon said on October 10, 2020 at 11:03 pm
    Reply

    Is it realistic to expect complete privacy and free Internet usage across all sites?

    Who’s paying the bills? Old days mostly gone; newspapers rely on pages and pages of advertising in order to distribute news–North, East, West, South if you didn’t know– and provide informed opinions by those more educated than ourselves. Newspapers really exist to promote products, not necessarily news.

    Why would one think every site on the Internet must require “free” access? Paywalls across the spectrum. If one likes a site enough, he/she can pay–guaranteed no tracking, no advertising. Like purchasing a novel.

    Didn’t I read something about Mozilla wanting to come out with a subscriber based Internet system.

    Since people are unwilling to pay for services, sites need to find a way to make money–low and behold the selling of private information. Not new, not wrong, and, at this point, not really an option to do things differently.

    One add-on developer was surprised I donated money for an add-on I use frequently. He said, “You are the first person in six months who has paid a dime for the add-on.” Yet, 500,000 users “borrow” it from him everyday.

    Everything for free . . . . Right!

    1. Tom Hawack said on October 11, 2020 at 10:29 am
      Reply

      @ViolentMoon,

      “Is it realistic to expect complete privacy and free Internet usage across all sites?”

      Any merchandise has a cost, a price (delta=profit) but one’s privacy being the price is questionable.

      The price : would I pay a buck for a box of matches when the cost is a dime? That’s for the profit which may be reasonable or not. In a deep dark forest searching light I’d pay far more. Addicted, more even. Are we addicted to the Web?
      If I pay that buck to the seller how much will go in his pocket and how much to the matches manufacturer ?
      If a Website has a cost (and it does), how much will the site get once the advertizer has taken its unreasonable share?
      Does my privacy have a price?
      Would I prefer to pay for a good or have it for “free” after having accepted to deliver my birth and health certificates, my religious, political, sexual orientations and moreover be tracked on the Internet now and forever?

      Many questions, answers depend on each of us. The price is the master key-word.
      I agree that expecting any merchandise (that includes services to make it short) for free (in terms of money) is unreasonable because it breaks a logical chain, a human path.
      I just happen to believe that my privacy is worth far more than a cost, hence far more even then the correlated profit.
      I respect sites that offer a teaser and ask the user a participation to have the full article displayed (mainly news sites).
      My privacy is worth far more than a price given it has none. But we all know that many disagree with that.
      We all know that an increasing number of people already lay their most private intimacy on TV reality shows,
      we all know that for many of us morality, dignity, honor are those of the ambiant society, of the trends and that “if everyone does it, why not me?” is their argument.
      We all know that a main component of marketing strategy is to make each of us believe that all the others already accept what we hesitate to do or accept.
      We all know that many polls and even games ask us not what our answer is but what we think the majority’s answer is. Intoxication, manipulation influencing our “freedom of thinking”.

      I don’t subscribe to this craps which is unfortunately increasing its grabbing of mentalities. And i’m not the only one.
      Be summarized clearly : I consider that paying is normal when done with money and that any other form is prostitution. Period.

  11. No Thanks, MSNBCIAGooglesoft said on October 11, 2020 at 2:10 am
    Reply

    “Google, Microsoft or Apple”

    Companies like Google are engaging in their illegal activities with the full backing of the US government. Blocking those three criminal organizations and Facebook would block 70% of the spying on the internet.

  12. Tom Hawack said on October 11, 2020 at 11:56 am
    Reply

    “Companies like Google are engaging in their illegal activities with the full backing of the US government. ”
    Full? Not sure :

    Feds may target Google’s Chrome browser for breakup – POLITICO
    [https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/10/feds-may-target-googles-chrome-browser-for-breakup-428468]

    1. Anonymous said on October 11, 2020 at 1:51 pm
      Reply

      “[https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/10/feds-may-target-googles-chrome-browser-for-breakup-428468]”

      “Google has said it is working with the advertising industry and others to develop alternatives to cookies. For example, the search giant has proposed a new system, nicknamed Turtledove, in which advertising auctions would take place within the browser instead of sending data to outside servers.”

      Does it remind you of Firefox default homepage Pocket sponsored stories, Firefox sponsored tiles experiment, or Brave ads ? As predicted, they were just scouting for Google.

  13. William Seachild said on October 12, 2020 at 9:34 pm
    Reply

    googoo feeds the feds everything you do, are you so naive to think they would do anything to harm them?

    why anyone let alone the hackier than thou folks on here would ever use anything from googoo when there are better alternatives for all of it makes me laugh long time

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