What is the Global Privacy Control (GPC) Signal and should I use it?

DP Logo
Digital Polygon
blog image

You may have noticed “Do Not Sell” links showing up across the web from organizations that are complying with the new privacy regulations as stipulated by GDPR and CCPA. To opt-out of websites selling or sharing your personal information, you need to click these links for every site you visit… on every browser… on every device… and every time you clear your cookies. 

While the GPC signal is relatively new, it was already gaining traction with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra who tweeted that consumers should use the new technology. 

We’re heartened to see how CCPA has spurred #DataPrivacy innovation like @globalprivctrl (GPC).

Instead of opting out of each individual website, users can enable a ‘stop selling my data switch’ on the @DuckDuckGo, @Brave, or @Mozilla browsers w/ the GPC. https://t.co/hcYc2xGY5k

— Archive - Attorney General Becerra (@AGBecerra) January 28, 2021

The Global Privacy Control (GPC) signal allows an individual to control their preferences on a single browser so that participating websites can automate privacy browsing preferences across the web from a single place. 

As a consumer, how do I turn on the GPC signal? 

There are several browsers and browser extensions that will allow you to turn on the GPC signal. Some browsers, like Brave, have the Global Privacy Control (GPC) signal turned on by default and do not allow you to disable it. For other browsers, such as Google Chrome, allow you to use browser extensions like DuckDuckGo and Privacy Badger that can be enabled to support your Global Privacy Control signal.  

As a website owner, how do I integrate the GPC Signal into my website or application? 

Integrating the Global Privacy Control (GPC) signal with your website will be dependent on how your organization defines “Do Not Sell or Share” information. In most cases, the GPC signal can be a means to automate a user's privacy preferences without having to interrupt their user experience on your website. There are a number of ways this can be accomplished:

  1. Cookie Management - A primary use case of the Global Privacy Control signal is to restrict the usage of data collected by cookies and 3rd party tracking scripts. As a website owner, you can automate a user’s preferences and comply with regulations without impacting a user’s experience on your website. 
  2. Data Collection & Processing - For organizations which collect user information, the GPC signal can be incorporated into your forms and passed through to your backend systems so that they understand how this information can be used based on the user’s privacy preferences.
  3. Gated Content - For organizations that require users to opt-in to data collection and information sharing, content can be gated or ungated based on the GPC signals. 

Are there any tools available to help support the Global Privacy Control (GPC) signal? 

We haven’t seen too many tools on the market that incorporate the GPC signal into their offerings. One that stands out is the WireWheel Trust & Access Consent Center. WireWheel has impressed us with its ability to stay ahead of the curve and integrate new privacy regulations and technologies into its platform quickly and effectively. WireWheels adoption of the Global Privacy Control (GPC) signal is the latest of these offerings which have been incorporated into the platform ultimately driving a superior user experience for their customers’ websites.

Should I be incorporating the Global Privacy Control into my website? 

The short answer is yes - we think you should. Supporting the GPC signal not only allows you to comply with new privacy regulations, but it also allows you to automate your users' privacy experience. You will improve the experience of users on your website and simplify your user's journey. 

Interested in talking more about the Global Privacy Control signal and how you can take advantage of it to improve your users’ experiences while staying compliant with privacy regulations? Contact us today.