Mozilla Add-on Lets You See Who’s Watching

SpyMozilla announced an interesting browser add-on called Collusion at the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference. This experimental add-on allows you to see all of the websites that are tracking you while you surf the Internet.

I had the opportunity to test it, and I discovered that 99 percent of websites track their users using third-party websites. I recommend that everyone install the add-on to see who is tracking them across the Web.

This add-on comes just as Google’s new privacy policy takes effect. The privacy policy permits Google to obtain data from Android phones, YouTube, Gmail, and Web browsing, which it will use to more accurately target advertising to individual Web users. A coalition of 50 consumer groups in the European Union and the U.S. sent an email to Larry Page protesting the policy, which is thought to be an invasion of privacy and to violate some laws both in the U.S. and the EU.

Unfortunately, the add-on can’t keep websites from tracking you. The developers claim that the full version, when available, will allow you to opt-in to share your anonymous data with a global web-tracking database (to help researchers, journalists, and others analyze and explain how data is tracked on the web). Personally, I don’t like this option either.

Why they are tracking us?

Advertising companies are tracking every action that we take on the Internet. They gather personal information in order to customize the ads that we see while surfing the Web. Usually, information is shared between several companies, so you may end up receiving spam emails and tons of ads.

The Solution

As I got more familiar with this issue, I discovered a solution. It’s called Do Not Track Plus and is free to install on Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. While Collusion shows in real-time the websites that are tracking you on the Internet, this add-on will block all “tools” that try to track you: social buttons, ad networks, and other third-party companies. It would be interesting to see what would happen if everyone browsed the Internet with this add-on installed.