Understanding Global Privacy Control and its Significance to Your Website

Understanding Global Privacy Control and its Significance to Your Website
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In today’s complex and heavily regulated society, individuals and businesses often struggle to determine their compliance status. Regulations are in a constant state of flux, with an increasing number of states and countries introducing new privacy rules. These changes not only pose financial burdens but also carry the risk of damaging reputation due to hefty fines. It’s important to note that neither GDPR nor CPRA offer any “grace” periods; if you’re found in violation, there’s no room for doubt or a chance to rectify the situation. You’re immediately deemed guilty, and fines will be imposed swiftly. This underscores the paramount importance of safeguarding the digital trust and security of consumers. In this regard, Global Privacy Control (GPC) is steadily gaining momentum.

What is Global Privacy Control?

Global Privacy Control, or GPC, is an emerging privacy standard designed to empower internet users with greater control over their online privacy. GPC allows individuals to signal their privacy preferences to websites and online services, enabling them to express their desire not to have their personal information sold or shared with third parties without their explicit consent. It’s a more robust measure than its predecessor, “Do Not Track,” that allows users to provide one single signal via their browser, instead of opting out one website at a time.

GPC operates by providing users with a standardized setting that can be enabled in their web browsers (or through browser extensions). When activated, this setting sends a signal to websites, indicating the user’s choice to exercise their privacy rights as defined by various privacy regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Adopted by more than 50 million consumers and growing, GPC heralds a new approach to protect consumers during their online journeys.

Respecting Your Website Visitors’ GPC Settings

This should be pretty obvious by now; respecting your website visitors’ GPC settings is especially important for the following reasons:

  • Legal Compliance: Many jurisdictions have introduced stringent data protection laws, such as the GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California. Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in hefty fines. Following GPC signals helps you align with these laws, avoiding legal complications.
  • User Trust and Reputation: Respecting user privacy preferences enhances your website’s credibility and fosters trust with your audience. Internet users are increasingly conscious of their privacy rights, and a respectful approach can differentiate your website from competitors.
  • Ethical Responsibility: It’s not just about legal obligations; it’s also an ethical responsibility. Respecting users’ privacy choices is an essential aspect of responsible data handling, contributing to a safer and more respectful online environment.
  • Improved User Experience: Adhering to GPC can lead to a better user experience. When visitors know that their privacy choices are respected, they are more likely to engage with your content or services without concerns about their data being mishandled.

Finding Out if Your Website Follows GPC: Introducing The Media Trust

Ensuring that your website complies with GPC can be a complex and technical task. That’s where The Media Trust comes in. For some of the largest ecommerce and digital environments, The Media Trust serves as their digital trust and safety partner, ensuring the delivery of a positive, privacy-compliant user experience.

With The Media Trust, you can:

  • Assess GPC Compliance: The Media Trust offers tools and services to evaluate your website’s adherence to GPC standards. They can help you determine whether your site correctly respects GPC signals from your visitors.
  • Implement GPC Compatibility: If your website falls short in terms of GPC compliance, The Media Trust can guide you through the necessary steps to make the required adjustments. This may include updating your privacy policy, configuring your data handling practices, or integrating GPC-compliant mechanisms.
  • Stay Informed: The Media Trust keeps you informed about the latest developments in privacy regulations and standards. They can help you adapt to evolving privacy requirements and ensure your website remains compliant. Sample data points in Figure 1
 Review the (frequently-changing) parties involved in delivering your user experience and their compliance with your data privacy requirements.

Figure 1: Review the (frequently-changing) parties involved in delivering your user experience and their compliance with your data privacy requirements.

At least 13 U.S. states have recently passed comprehensive data privacy laws. Understanding and respecting GPC is critical to avoiding financial penalties and becoming front-page news. Incorporating GPC compliance into your website’s privacy strategy is not just a legal requirement; it’s a commitment to respecting your users’ privacy and building a positive online reputation. Make the responsible choice for your website and your users by embracing GPC.

Partner with The Media Trust today to ensure your company’s compliance.