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Firefox is testing out a significant privacy upgrade

Representational image depecting cybersecurity protection
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Firefox is set to join the growing number of web browsers that are adding a “do not sell my personal data” signal referred to as global privacy control (GPC).

GPC is implemented as a browser setting that sends a signal to notify websites of the visitor’s privacy preferences, including whether they want their personal information to be sold or shared.

“At this moment, GPC is a prerelease feature available for experimental use in Firefox Nightly. Once turned on, it sends a signal to the websites users visit telling them that the user doesn’t want to be tracked and doesn’t want their data to be sold,” explained Mozilla.

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GPC is getting traction both in California and in Colorado, according to Mozilla, with California insisting that companies are obligated to honor the signal under the state’s consumer privacy law.

GDPR Part Deux

GPC is a collaborative effort by privacy-focused organizations and advocates, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Consumer Reports. 

It is often touted as a successor to the “Do Not Track” signal, which couldn’t get enough momentum behind it to force companies to honour it. GPC, however, has already found takers with US states such as California mandating adherence.

Mozilla’s CTO Eric Rescorla told the Washington Post that Firefox didn’t adopt the signal right away, to see what sort of impact it would have, to avoid making privacy promises that don’t hold water.

GPC is already available in several other web browsers such as Brave, and privacy-centric browser add-ons including Disconnect and DuckDuckGo. However, Google Chrome, which has the largest market share, is conspicuous by its absence from the list of GPC wielding browsers. 

If you want to keep your online activities to yourself, browse the internet through a proxy service or better still via a VPN service.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.