Stop sites from selling your data with these privacy extensions

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 20, 2021

We talked about the privacy initiative Global Privacy Control (GPC) before here on Ghacks. GPC looks similar to Do Not Track on first glance. Both submit information to websites on connect that "tells" site owners about a user's privacy preferences.

Unlike Do Not Track, which was largely ignored by sites and companies, and even detrimental to a user's privacy because it made users stick out more, GPC is fueled by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Californian law mentions "user-enabled global privacy controls" in requests to opt-out, and a "browser-plugin or privacy setting, device setting, or other mechanism" in particular as one of "two or more designated methods for submitting requests to opt-out" that businesses shall provide.

The caveat is that the law does not make the global control a must, as it is listed besides methods to opt-out on websites, by phone, a form, or a form submitted in person. GPC is backed by a number of companies and organizations, including the EFF, Automattic, DuckDuckGo, Brave, Mozilla, and the Financial Times.

Only Brave and DuckDuckGo have implemented GPC already in their browsers. Others, like Mozilla, have expressed interest but appear to be waiting for GPC to be introduced as a web standard or draft, before it is implemented.

Since most Internet users are not using Brave or the DuckDuckGo browser, it is extensions that they may rely on to send the GPC signal with the browser.

Browser extensions such as Privacy Badger, available for Google Chrome Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera, or OptMeowt, available for Chrome and Firefox, add the signal to the browser so that it is submitted to the visited sites. Most Chromium-based browsers should install the listed extensions fine.

To test whether the signal is submitted, visit the official Global Privacy Control site; it lists the status of the GPC signal at the top of the startpage.

gpc signal test

One question has not been answered yet: should you configure your browser to send the signal right now, or should you wait until it is more widely adopted? The information may be used when it comes to fingerprinting, especially in the beginning days since it is sent only by a low number of browsers and devices.

For now, it may be better to monitor the progress that is made towards making GPC a mandatory thing, at least in some legislations, unless you do run the supporting extensions or browsers already.

Now You: What do you think of GPC?

Stop sites from selling your data with these privacy extensions
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Stop sites from selling your data with these privacy extensions
Find out which browsing extensions send the Global Privacy Control signal that informs sites on the Internet that they should not sell user data.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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