How can I have more confidence that WP plugins aren't getting and storing user data? This is in regard to making my website GDPR-compliant.
Perhaps an automatic scanning tool?
Are there any existing security-scan tools, perhaps that could scan plugins for known methods of getting user data. E.g. in WP you can get the users' IP using
$_SERVER['HTTP_CLIENT_IP'] and from there, I don't know, make a note of it at least, or see about tracing where that IP is used and observing if the data gets put into a DB table somewhere or what not.
Perhaps a 3rd-party certification? Are there any existing WP plugin manual certification services that can confirm behavior of WP plugins with regard to GDPR, among other manual security/performance checks?
Anyways, personally, on my website, there's all kinds of things I can do to ensure GDPR compliance (or just privacy and security in general):
- Read and learn about GDPR
- Understand my users needs/wants
- Follow along with whatever WP core does
- Make sure all data collection is opt-in, and on first-visit prompt users on our policy and ask what they'd like to do
- For users that do opt-in, provide them with a way to view, export and delete their data
- Make sure any 3rd-party software I use is also GDPR-compliant. This is easier with major software, e.g. Gravity Forms, CPanel or Google Analytics, as they already actively and publicly pursue this topic.
... but what I cannot do is manually scan millions of lines of code of random useful WP plugins made by John Smith or Jane Doe from 5000km's around the world who wish for me to trust them after one plain-text paragraph of platitudes & promises and an empty support forum.
Some suggestions with regard to this sound like "Oh, just test your site and look for any cookies being added". To me this is ridiculous because cookie storage is just one aspect of privacy/security; all kinds of other things are possible. For example, something that has nothing to do with cookies, but equally under the umbrella of GDPR, is storing the visitor's IP address in a server log or grabbing the IP within plugin PHP code and sending it off the data to who-knows-where, locally or externally.
After days of article surfing, I find these concerns unanswered and I wonder how much page-builder services (e.g. Squarespace, Wix) are pushing this as a pretty hard selling point in their favour, since they have more closed systems that are easier to get to 99% compliance.
In the end, I know my own website and what I do personally (I'm honorable, but only I know that), but there's a bunch of clients I need to educate and help them make informed decisions.