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Global Privacy Control

What is the new Global Privacy Control header and how will it protect you? When will California begin prosecuting websites that don't enforce it? How can you make sure you are taking advantage of this new privacy tool?

The sites you visit are collecting information on you. In fact, they can capture and sell any information you enter. Probably not at your doctor's portal, but most other sites. Sites capture your information with ads and other scripts running there.
You might enjoy this spooky less than two-minute video.

So, some companies and organizations (NY Times, Washington Post, Mozilla, EFF, Financial Times, The National Science Foundation and others) have joined together to create a simple opt out header for your? ? Browser. It tells the site you visit that you aren't giving them permission to sell your data to others. The site you visit can use it, but can't sell to others. But, so far, there is no punishment, so sites just ignore it. This is ending.

Though the US Congress is unwilling to act, but some states and the European Union are fighting back. They have passed laws that put teeth into this simple solution. The states must give Websites time to comply, but on January 1, 2023, California's law will take effect and the grace period will end.

Senator Ron Wyden said,

"40 million consumers are now using web browsers and other privacy tools that support this global opt out. Major publishers, the New York Times, Washington Post, have already pledged to respect it. California's Attorney General has already said that companies must respect GPC. This is a big step in Americans’ privacy, a big, big step forward.”

How do I turn it on?

So far, June 3, 2022, only the Brave browser has it turned on by default. Why is Firefox and Vivaldi lagging behind? I don't know. However, here's my recommendation for getting this protection. Firefox has a configuration setting you can turn on, but I don't recommend this approach for most of my clients. But there are a few browser extensions you can install which will help protect your privacy and send out this header to all websites. I can wholeheartedly recommend these two:
  1. DuckDuckGo's Privacy Essentials
  2. Electronic Freedom Foundation's Privacy Badger

These have both been in use for many years, and have excellent ratings. Privacy Essentials has over 6 million Chrome web store users. Privacy Badger has over 1 million Chrome web store users. Both are excellent and are easy to use. I wrote an article about Privacy Badger recommending it in 2018. I've since switched to Privacy Essentials, but probably just checked it out and found it excellent; then stayed with it.


Date: June 2022

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