Want to know who’s spying on you online? There’s an app for that
2013-10-25 0:00

By Nick Heath | ZDNet

Mozilla has released a tool that will allow users of the Firefox browser to know which companies are tracking them online.

Would you like to know who’s watching which websites you visit? Well there’s an app for that.

It’s standard practice for advertisers to keeps tabs on the sites you frequent using tracking cookies. Tracking cookies are small text files that are downloaded on to your computer that log the websites you browse and, in some case, how you interact with these sites. Advertisers and other companies use these logs to build a profile of your interests, allowing advertisers to sell you products and services you’re more likely to buy.

In an attempt to highlight just how many different firms are tracking our browsing habits online Mozilla has produced Lightbeam, an add-on that can be downloaded for the Firefox browser that captures who is watching you.

Every time you visit a site the tool logs every web address that is connecting to your machine, revealing how visiting a single website can result in your computer to connecting to many different web servers. Each of these servers may be controlled by different companies, and send and collect different information — for example, serving up images and adverts on the site or placing tracking cookies on your computer.


Each circle shows a web address of a site visited and each triangle a third party site that has connected to your computer.


The log is rendered as an infographic that makes it clear which third parties are operating behind the scenes on each website you visit. Users can choose to watch or block individual sites from the tool.

Mozilla’s executive director Mark Surman said Lightbeam is about raising public awareness of how their activity is tracked online.

"It really is a stake in the ground designed to start a conversation about privacy," he said.

[...]

Read the full article at: zdnet.com




Related Articles
Turning the Tables? Group Challenges Domestic Surveillance by Tracking Obama
Wi-Fi Trashcans Now Silently Tracking Your Smartphone Data
Government is Tracking Your Car
DON’T TRACK US
"Riot" Software tracks people on social media, by Raytheon
Anonymous search engine, DuckDuckGo sees rocketing growth after NSA revelations
How To Avoid NSA


Latest News from our Front Page

The Ring Of The Nibelungs
2015-01-27 0:20
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
2015-01-26 22:58
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters. Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
The TSA Wants To Read Your Facebook Posts And Check Out Your Purchases Before It Will Approve You For PreCheck
2015-01-26 21:11
The TSA is disappointed that so few Americans have opted out of its bottle-tossing, package-groping screenings by signing up for its PreCheck program. For a few years now, the TSA has been selling travelers' civil liberties back to them, most recently for $85 a head, but it's now making a serious push to increase participation. The TSA can't do it ...
What Happens To Privacy When The Internet Is In Everything?
2015-01-26 20:10
This week Google’s Eric Schmidt was on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he suggested that the future Internet will be, in one sense, invisible — because it will be embedded into everything we interact with. “The Internet will disappear,” he predicted (via The Hollywood Reporter). “There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things ...
Harvard Professor: Government Mosquito Drones will Extract Your DNA
2015-01-26 20:42
"Privacy is dead," academic tells Davos elite Harvard Professor Margo Seltzer warned that miniature mosquito drones will one day forcibly extract your DNA on behalf of the government and insurance companies as she told elitists at the World Economic Forum in Davos that privacy was dead. Seltzer, a professor in computer science at Harvard University, told attendees, “Privacy as we knew it ...
More News »