You have undoubtedly heard about GDPR alreadyâ€”the General Data Protection Regulation meant to give citizens back control of their personal data, and taking the form at IBM of a series of regulations and audits and certifications of how personal data is collected, stored, used, and how it can be deleted at the initiation of the user.
Many of you are involved in GDPR exercises in your organizations, and have asked if your devcenters are at risk, if we have statements or assurances we can share, if there is more for you to do.
Having nearly concluded a couple of months of intense auditing and updating our devcenters and other applications, we can say that:
Your devcenters will be GDPR compliant:
- Unless you have published custom forms for collecting user data and not taken the properÂ steps there (there are a few of these, and weâ€™re already working on them) and
- Once we remove a few moreÂ â€śtagsâ€ť, or includes, from the HTML from our devcenters
â€śTagsâ€ť is a general name for services, libraries, and other things that are included in your web pagesâ€”things like analytics, web and CSS libraries, testing frameworks, chat services, etc.
In order to comply with GDPR standards, we need to stop a number of services that are included in your devcenters. A big one is Jetpack, which provides a set of features to self-hosted WordPress offerings such as ours, including the inline stats, social sharing, subscriptions, widgets, etc:Â https://jetpack.com/
This is a significant change to our platform, but itâ€™s one we now need to make.
For some time, weâ€™ve been trying to cease or reduce usage of Jetpack because of its off-domain user data management and the performance penalty our sites pay for loading it.
Many of you find its services convenient for capturing subscriptions, seeing how your site is doing, creating simple widgets. But we have alternatives for some or most of these features. For example, our preferred analytics dashboard is Google Analytics (for now), to which you should have access. We are replacing the social sharing buttons with ones from ibm.comÂ that are compliant. And subscriptions is something we simply canâ€™t accommodate in the way that Jetpack manages it.Â Look for more information from us about alternatives to Jetpack in our platform coming up.
Weâ€™re going to turn Jetpack off this coming Friday, May 4th, and remove it from our source base shortly afterwards. You can contact us if you have what you feel are extenuating needs here, but Jetpack is not approved in IBM’s GDPR review process and therefore must be removed from our pages.