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What is Global Privacy Control and Why is it Such a Hot Topic?

Annie Greenley-Giudici

In October 2020, an initiative to help keep consumer information safe and secure gained momentum among many large organizations worldwide. This initiative is known as global privacy control, or GPC.

How does global privacy control work?

Global privacy control gives consumers an easy way to universally opt-out of organizations selling or sharing their personal information under specific privacy laws.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have led the change in the industry.

Together, and with other organizations that have followed suit, they have brought privacy rights back to the consumer.

Consumers can now control these privacy settings within their web browsers and apps.

This means that instead of consumers opting out of selling or sharing personal information for every website they visit, global privacy control communicates privacy preferences directly to the website visited.

It serves as an expression of user intent to invoke their online privacy rights.

How does global privacy control impact you and your customers?

A growing number of organizations, both web browser and browser plugin providers, have adopted GPC and now allow consumers to enable the signal if they want to.

Websites should detect and honor this signal. They should receive it as a ‘do not sell or share’ setting and, voilà – the consumer’s information is safe and secure.

Xavier Beccera, the former California Attorney General, has referenced global privacy control regarding the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Does global privacy control have legal implications?

The short answer? It depends. GPC on its own does not create any legally binding obligations.

However, laws in some jurisdictions may mean a consumer’s expression through global privacy control has a legal impact.

For example, following the lead of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), in 2021 Colorado passed the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA).

That same year, Virginia passed the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA). Both go into effect in 2023 and, like the CCPA, they require honoring browser settings and opt-out controls.

Acts like these continue to be passed in the U.S. and around the world, and that’s great news for privacy and consumer rights.

What global privacy control-compliant software should I use?

Let’s face it, things change fast in the world of consumer privacy and data protection.

So, how can you and your business stay on top of these ever-changing laws and regulations regarding global privacy control?

The easiest way is to implement software that allows for GPC detection. TrustArc Cookie Consent Manager Advanced (CCM) allows this setting to be enabled in a way that is simple and stress free.

This is important for your business but also for your customers, who increasingly expect a seamless and branded consent experience.

Ensuring visible user consent goes a long way to building customer trust, confidence and loyalty.

What is cookie consent?

Cookie consent, or cookie compliance, is permission consumers give websites to place a cookie into their browser to gather specific data about them.

Cookie consent is required to obtain most of the different types of data businesses and third parties collect via cookies.

Since GPC emerged, TrustArc’s Cookie Consent Manager has expanded its functionality to comply with it.

If you’re already using the CCM advanced solution, you can activate GPC functionality now (if you haven’t already).

If you aren’t using our solution and would like to learn more about it and how it can support global privacy control and your organization – contact us.

How soon do I need to take action?

Google intends to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome in 2024. Since 65% of browser users use Chrome, this will impact most businesses, and cookie marketing.

If you have TrustArc Cookie Consent Manager, you are in good hands. It does not require third-party cookies to work and will remain compliant.

TrustArc will also continue to work with industry partners to ensure our products continue to adapt to ongoing changes to the digital landscape.

Key Global Privacy Control Takeaways

  • Global privacy control (GPC) allows consumers an easy way to opt out of organizations selling or sharing their personal information under specific privacy laws.
  • A growing number of organizations, both web browser and browser plugin providers, have adopted GPC.
  • TrustArc Cookie Consent Manager allows company websites to detect these browser or plugin settings and offer consumers the opt-out option.

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