does opera gx sell your data ?

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At Opera, safeguarding the privacy and security of our users stands at the core of our mission. As a European company, we adhere to the stringent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a robust data protection framework. Our browsers, Opera and Opera GX, come packed with out-of-the-box privacy-preserving features, eliminating the need for additional software installations or complex configurations. From integrated ad blocking and third-party cookie blocking to a built-in browser VPN, Opera consistently empowers users to navigate the web with enhanced privacy. Yet, amidst our efforts, we've observed misleading articles circulating, branding Opera and Opera GX as "spyware." These narratives aim to sow confusion and mistrust, leveraging false or distorted information taken out of context. In this post, we aim to dispel these misconceptions and set the record straight.

Opera's Transparency and GDPR Compliance.

Opera, headquartered in Oslo, Norway, operates under the umbrella of GDPR. While Norway may not be an EU member, its adoption of key EU legislation, including the GDPR, ensures robust data protection and strict regulations for Opera users worldwide. As a publicly listed company on the NASDAQ stock exchange (OPRA), Opera adheres to stringent transparency laws, obligating disclosure of information about all its activities. Being a publicly traded entity also means that Opera is the only browser company that individuals can own by purchasing shares. This level of transparency extends to quarterly reports accessible to Opera shareholders and the public alike.

Free Products, User-Controlled Monetization.

Our products are offered for free, with the majority of revenue reinvested to enhance user experience and expand our user base. While our monetization strategy involves advertising, we prioritize user control. Opt-in choices for targeted advertising empower users, ensuring they decide whether to share data for a more tailored ad experience. This approach grants users the flexibility to modify preferences at any time through browser settings.
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Privacy First: The Opera Way

Our detailed privacy statement elaborates on how we handle data across our products and services. We acknowledge that some of the data used falls under the category of "personal data" as per applicable law. However, even when leveraging personal data, we lack the means to identify users as individuals, maintaining a level of anonymity.

Navigating the Misinformation.

With the foundation laid, let's delve into how these articles mislead readers and distort the truth.

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By dissecting and debunking the misinformation, we aim to reinforce our commitment to transparency, user privacy, and the continuous improvement of Opera and Opera GX. Opera remains steadfast in providing a secure and private online experience, free from the misconceptions that threaten to cloud our users' trust.

Dispelling Myths: Unraveling "Spyware" Misconceptions in Opera and Opera GX

The recent surge of accusatory articles mislabeling Opera and Opera GX as "spyware" has raised concerns. Central to these misguided allegations is a skewed interpretation of the term "spyware," encompassing any software connecting to a company's servers for any purpose. This overly broad definition not only renders the term practically meaningless but also leads to misinformation, as it wrongly classifies commonplace applications like Steam or iTunes as "spyware.".
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Understanding Spyware in Context

The real definition of "spyware" bears no relation to standard practices like telemetry or security updates, which are essential components of modern software and contribute to user safety. Telemetry, for instance, aids developers in enhancing products by anonymously understanding user interactions. It guides the allocation of development resources, elimination of unused features, and identification of potential crashes. Security updates are equally crucial, safeguarding users from vulnerabilities that could compromise their security. No software is immune to bugs or vulnerabilities, and prompt updates are vital in preventing attackers from exploiting these weaknesses to gain access to personal data, such as passwords and credit card information

Separating Fact from Fiction

Accusations against Opera and Opera GX often misconstrue common software practices as malicious. One argument alleges that the browsers make geolocation requests. In reality, this function serves to determine the user's country, ensuring accurate information in features like weather widgets and News Feed articles. User consent is always sought, and the geolocation data is used on a website-specific basis. Another contentious point involves the inclusion of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and other services in the sidebar. These are mere shortcuts to respective websites and do not independently collect data. Users retain control over data sharing by activating the built-in tracker blocker and third-party cookie blocker. The claim that Opera's default search engine being Google makes it "spyware" is perplexing. Users have had the freedom to choose from a variety of search engines for over two decades.
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Addressing Concerns and Ensuring Trust

Despite the misinformed or intentionally misleading nature of these articles, Opera prioritizes user trust. In the coming days and weeks, we commit to sharing more resources that elucidate how we safeguard user privacy and security. We encourage users to approach online information critically, ensuring they rely on trustworthy sources. Additionally, users are welcome to reach out with concerns or questions, as open communication remains a cornerstone of our commitment to user safety and privacy. As always, stay safe out there