Gandalf_The_Grey

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Several companies and individuals have today launched the Global Privacy Control (GPC), an initiative that seeks to help users enforce their rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The backers say that the new rights mean nothing if it's too difficult for people to benefit from them.

Those backing the Global Privacy Control include Ashkan Soltani from Georgetown Law, Sebastian Zimmeck from Wesleyan University, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Automattic (WordPress.com and Tumblr), Glitch, DuckDuckGo, Brave, Mozilla, Disconnect, Abine, Digital Content Next (DCN), Consumer Reports, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The GPC’s backers said that the CCPA gives Californians a legal right to opt-out of the sale of their data, they can do this by having their browser signal to businesses that they’ve opted out. Unfortunately, there’s no defined or accepted technical standard for these signals so users don’t have an easy way to inform businesses of their preferences.

The group has launched an experimental phase where people can download browsers and extensions from Abine, Brave, Disconnect, DuckDuckGo, and EFF in order to tell participating publishers that they do not want their data to be shared. Going forward, those behind GPC want to develop an open standard that many organisations can finally support; they’re now in the process of finding the best venue to make this proposal.

The GPC’s backers said they look forward to working with California’s Attorney General to make the GPC legally binding under CCPA. In addition, they’re looking to make the GPC applicable under other laws around the world such as the GDPR.
 

oldschool

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Another new Brave feature:
Brave is currently testing an implementation of the GPC proposal in our Nightly desktop and Android beta channels, and expect to implement it in our iOS browser as the proposal goes through the standardization process. Importantly, Brave does not require users to change anything to start using the GPC to assert your privacy rights. For versions of Brave that have GPC implemented, the feature is on by default and unconfigurable. We’ve decided to implement GPC in this way for several reasons.
 

Arequire

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Keep in mind that enabling GPC adds another characteristic to your browser which can be used to increase the effectiveness of fingerprinting.
Brave themselves mention this in their GPC blog post:
the more configuration options available in the browser, the easier it is to “fingerprint” users. We build strong, unique, and innovative defenses against “fingerprinting” into the Brave Browser, and are cautious about adding configuration options that could reduce your privacy. Unless we expect configurability to be useful to a significant number of users, we err on the side of reducing configuration options.
For now it'd probably be best to avoid enabling GPC until it's made legally binding.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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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.
 
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