Social sharing buttons have become an integral part of web publishing helping publishers to increase page visits. Many popular social share widgets automatically transmit data to third parties even if the site visitor do not click or otherwise interact with the social buttons. This is becoming an important issue especially now as the European Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in April 2016, and which will come into force on 25 May 2018. The new law will have a significant impact on the organisations processing EU residents’ personal data and the penalties for non-compliance can be up to 4% of the organizations annual global revenue or €20 Million whichever is greater.
Luckily enough, the German computer magazin CT has developed Shariff Wrapper, an open-source privacy-aware social sharing plugin that fullfills already the strict data protection laws in Germany. This plugin, available to WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, provides an easy to use solution for integrating over 20 sharing buttons, including services such as Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, Xing, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Pinterest, Reddit, Diaspora, Stumbleupon, Tumblr, and more. As a cool feature, it has also integrations to services such as Flattr, Paypal, and Bitcoin, making it easier to collect microdonations to fund the author.
“Shariff provides share buttons that respect privacy and enable sharing of content without needless data leakage.”
The main benefit of using this open source self-hosted alternative compared to sharing services such as AddThis, ShareThis and other popular sharing plugins is that it doesn’t call external scripts or inject iframes which improves user privacy and performance. The plugin has an ability to show sharing counts as well using one of the shariff backend libraries but because you run the proxy server yourself, there is no unnecessary data leakage. The plugin also complies with the German data protection laws.