The Global Privacy Control (GPC): Your Top 5 Questions Answered

globalprivacycontrol

Privacy is a hot topic these days and the Global Privacy Control (GPC) is giving companies the power to take user’s privacy preferences into account, without degrading their experience. Global Privacy Control allows users to define their privacy preferences which in turn allows website owners to restrict what information is being collected. GPC allows for more control of privacy in an age when it’s hard to keep up with privacy protection laws and regulations. If you missed our previous article about “What is the GPC signal and should I use it” check it out for some additional background.

What is the Global Privacy Control (GPC)?

The GPC signal is a technology that allows users to define their privacy preferences which in turn allows website owners to restrict what information is being collected. This can be anything from the type of advertising they see, how and when data is used or sold, or whether you want your browsing history to be used.

*Note: The term “global privacy controls” could be extended to mean any control that helps inform a user’s decision on privacy. For the purposes of this article, we will be talking about capital Global Privacy Control (GPC) which is referring to the open-source standard being designed by https://globalprivacycontrol.org/.

What does the Global Privacy Control do?

The GPC signal (technical spec here) allows for more control of privacy in an age when it’s hard to keep up with privacy protection laws and regulations. The GPC allows users to define their privacy preferences in their browser, which in turn allows website owners to restrict what information is being collected, such as how and when data is used or sold, or whether you want your browsing history to be used.

Why is the Global Privacy Control Important?

GPC is important because privacy laws are growing more complete and privacy, in general, is increasingly more important to consumers. The Global Privacy Control is attempting to set a standard on how a privacy signal can be consumed on a standard website request.

This allows your business to respect a user’s preference without making their user experience suffer. This will become increasingly more important as we enter into a Trust Economy where users are making buying decisions based on trusted brands. If you’re not working to build and demonstrate trust, the future might be about to leave you behind. Trust is quickly becoming the global — and most-valued — currency of modern time.

How is the Global Privacy Control used?

GPC provides a way to signal, through an HTTP header or the DOM, a user’s assertion of their applicable rights to prevent selling their data to third parties or sharing data with them.

Website owners can use the GPC signal to automate a user’s privacy settings on their websites and web applications in a way that doesn’t degrade the user experience. This automation could control anything from what tracking pixels are being used to how the data that is being collected is used.

GPC enables organizations to use this data but does not force it. Many of the new laws and legislations reference global privacy controls as a general term in their laws, but it will be a while before standards are adopted industry-wide. It will be up to each organization to determine their view of the law, how it impacts their organization, and if they should interpret the Global Privacy Control (GPC) signal into their user’s privacy experience.

How Does the Global Privacy Control Protect My Data from Being Sold?

The Global Privacy Control (GPC) on its own does not (for now). It provides a mechanism for organizations to detect your privacy preferences and act on them if they wish. There are many reasons why organizations should start paying attention to the Global Privacy Control (GPC) signal and other global privacy controls:

  1. They are starting to appear in new legislation such as CPRA.
  2. The trust economy is not going anywhere, it is only going to get stronger.
  3. User experience is increasingly important as users have many choices.

We wouldn’t be surprised if privacy starts to get incorporated into Search Engine Algorithms as laws and regulations become more mainstream. Getting ahead on the user privacy experience is going to be key for your organization as these laws continue to be passed in the US and abroad.

Looking to chat more about Global Privacy Controls or have questions about your website? Schedule some time to talk with us today!

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