What are the GPII User Privacy Settings?

The GPII User Privacy Settings is a service that allows a user to communicate their preferences to a 3rd party website through linking their Cloud4All / GPII user account to that 3rd party site. This way a user can easily apply their customizations to other websites.

Users will have control over these linkages and can be managed through the Preferences Management Tool (See Preference Editing Tools Design).

The Relationship Between Cloud for All and a 3rd Party Site

The relationship between Cloud for All (C4A) and a 3rd party site is similar to how two different social media services link together (i.e. linking a Twitter to a Facebook account).

In the case for C4A, the 3rd party website needs to allow some way for a registered user to specify their C4A credentials. Once the C4A relationship is established, the 3rd party site can then offer features based on the user's C4A preferences.


  • It is up to the 3rd party site to enable support for C4A linking
  • The user must choose to link their C4A to their 3rd party site user account
    • Therefore by default a user will have the default experience unless they link their C4A account
  • The PMT can be used to manage the relationships the user has established with other websites
  • The user controls which features they want to have enabled and which parts of their preferences they want to share with sites
On this Page

Break-down of Interaction

Note: The use cases are based on Sam as she interacts with the GPII / Cloud for All privacy settings.

User registration


This section covers (4) in the diagram.

  1. User visits a website and registers for an account on that site.
  2. In the account settings for that site there is a tool (or link) to use C4A to customize the experience.
  3. User activates the link and is redirected to the "Relationship Authorization" section of C4A.

Use Case

Sam was excited to hear about a new experimental feature in Google’s Gmail which adds support for Cloud for All preferences. This feature could be very useful since she often uses different systems to read email, and not all of them are configured to the way she likes it.

Logging into Gmail, Sam goes to the Labs tab under her settings. She seeks out “Cloud for All” and enables it. Upon enabling the feature, a new link appears in the panel saying: “Continue to Cloud for All website to configure”.

C4A Relationship Authorization


This section covers (3) in the diagram.

  1. If the user is not logged in to C4A, they will be asked to do so.
  2. Once logged in, the user will see two parallel lists: one with their C4A preferences, one with customized 3rd party website features
  3. The user will be asked to make their selection either by choosing the features they want from the feature list, or by selecting which C4A preference they want to enable/disable.
    • enabling/disabling items in one list, would have a corresponding enabling/disabling in the second list.
    • this reinforces the fact that the two lists are related (site features are tied to the C4A preferences).
  4. Once the selection is made, the user then confirms / declines setting up this relationship between C4A and the 3rd party site.
  5. The user is then redirected back to the referring 3rd party site.

Use Case

Selecting “Continue”, Sam is now on the Cloud for All website and it is asking Sam to confirm that she wants to allow Gmail access to her Cloud for All preferences. On the screen there is a two column list of options: one for Cloud for All Preferences, and another for features offered by Gmail based on Cloud for All preferences.

As Sam checks and unchecks her Cloud for All preferences in the first column, she can see features enabling and disabling in the adjacent Gmail features column.

Since she would sometimes access Gmail from public places, she decides to not share her preference for voice input. Upon unchecking this Cloud for All preference, she notices Google’s “Voice Search” feature becomes unchecked.

Satisfied with the settings, Sam checks the “I agree to share this Cloud 4 All information with Google Gmail”, and then chooses “Continue”.

Upon Returning to 3rd Party Site


This section covers (4) in the diagram.

  • If the user authorized the C4A link, their account setting will now show:
    • Their C4A username
    • A link to edit the relationship
    • A link to revoke the relationship
  • If the user did not authorize the relationship, their account settings will look the same as it did prior

Use Case

After a brief loading period, she is redirected back to Gmail’s Labs page and she now sees “Cloud for All” enabled with her Cloud 4 All username below. There is also a “Revoke” option which Sam assumes removes her Cloud for All information from Gmail.

Navigating back to her inbox, Sam settles in to answering some overdue emails.

Managing Relations with the PMT


This section covers (1), (2), and (3) in the diagram.

  • Any relationships configured previously can be managed from the PMT.
  • In the PMT, there will be a privacy section with a list of sites with relationships. The user can: edit features and remove relationships.
    • Note, the user may not add new sites to this list. To do this, they will need to go to the supporting site first and authorize the relationship there.
  • Selecting and editing a site will bring up the 2-column list as described in "C4A Relationship Authorization" above.

Use Case

It’s been a few days since Sam first set up her Gmail account to use her Cloud for All preferences. Sam has found that she is using her smart phone a little more, so she would like to configure Gmail to recognize her preference for voice input (holding phone and using the onscreen keyboard can be tiring for long emails).

Using her laptop, Sam logs onto the Cloud for All website and accesses the PMT. Under the “Privacy” settings, she finds gmail.com listed under the “Sites” list and selects “Edit”.

After a brief loading period, Sam is presented with a screen she has seen before: it’s the screen she saw when setting up the Gmail link the first time. There are two lists - one showing all of Sam’s Cloud for All preferences, and the other showing the Cloud for All features offered by Gmail.

Sam places a checkmark next to “voice input” under the Cloud for All column, and automatically Gmail’s “Voice Search”, “Gtalk (Voice)”, and “Compose dictation” become enabled.

Reviewing these changes, Sam is satisfied with her modifications and decides to save it.

Using her smartphone, Sam logs onto Gmail and now finds all of gmail’s voice input functionality enabled.

Use Case - Additional Cloud for All Security

After borrowing a notebook from her department a few times, Sam has discovered that often she forgets revert the system settings before returning the device. She would prefer some sort of safety net which would protect her privacy, and prevent others from modifying her Cloud for All settings.

Using the PMT on her laptop, Sam searches for a preference related to “Security” thinking there may be a setting that will automatically log out her Cloud for All account after a period of inactivity. Surely enough the search reveals such a setting, and also a setting which forces the user to enter a password when changing Cloud for All preferences.

Selecting both, Sam sets the inactivity time to 45 minutes, and enables the password feature for her Cloud for All settings. She saves these changes in the PMT. Upon saving, Sam sees a message on the screen:

“There are websites registered under your profile which can use ‘Auto Logout’. Configure this now?”

Although Sam’s intention was to make her sessions with a borrowed laptop more secure, she is now curious to see how her new preferences affects some of the sites she uses regularly with Cloud for All. Sam chooses “yes” to continue.

Sam now sees a three column list consisting of a checkbox, the website name, and a feature description. Scanning the list she sees Gmail in the list. By placing a checkbox, she can enable Gmail’s automatic logout feature. Giving this some thought, she wonders if having to log back into Gmail every 45 minutes would be annoying, but on the other hand she uses a password keychain on her trusted devices. Weighing the trade-off in her head, Sam decides to allow Gmail to automatically log out.

Satisfied with her choices, Sam closes the PMT and settles down to research her next lesson plan.

Half-baked Ideas

Managing Relations with the Site Widget

  • Another possibility to manage a relationship with a site is through a specific C4A widget on the website
  • This widget will allow the user to: enable features, edit the relationship, and remove the relationship

Features-to-preferences matchmaking

  • An idea worth exploring is to do a matchmaking between the custom features of a site and a user's preferences.
  • Example: Site offers voice-dictation. User has voice-input as a preference. When introduced to the parallel list of features/preferences, voice-dictation can be selected by default (the matchmaking).

No C4A Preferences Past the Gate

  • Idea: After a user has selected which preferences / features to enable for a specific 3rd party site, Cloud for All only communicates the features enabled back to the 3rd party. No specific user preference is shared with the 3rd party.
  • i.e. User chooses to enable "high visibility" in their preference. This in turn enables the "Contrast Themes" and "Simplified Layout" features on the website. In this case Cloud for All tells the 3rd party website that the user wants "Contrast Themes" and "Simplified Layout", not that the user has a preference for "High Visibility".

Privacy and Security as Preferences

In the "Additional Cloud for All Security" use case above, the use case depicts some security features as preferences that can be added to a user's preference set. This functionality is for illustrative purposes, and may not exist in the final implementation. It role is to demonstrate how a user may wish to have further security for their sessions.

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