If you are a Firefox user who has AdBlock Plus some sites detect you have that add-on installed and serve you a message like, “Can you please disable your ad blocker for just this site? As you surf the Web, information is being collected about you. Web tracking is not 100% evil — personal data can make your browsing more efficient; cookies can help your favorite websites stay in business. But, says Gary Kovacs, of Mozilla it’s your right to know what data is being collected about you and how it affects your online life. He unveiled the Firefox add-on to do just that.
Gary Kovacs is the CEO of Mozilla Corporation with the responsibility for leading the overall direction of the organization and the Firefox Web browser. This February he announced a browser add-on for Mozilla called Collusion. It allows you to track who’s tracking you online … and the results are surprising to say the least. Collusion is an experimental add-on for Firefox and allows you to see all the third parties that are tracking your movements across the Web. It will show you, in real time, how that data creates a spider-web of interaction between companies and other trackers.
Gary Kovacs: Tracking the trackers
Tracking is the non-consensual use or transfer of behavioral data collected across websites or applications as to an individual, computer or device. Tracking is when companies collect or share information about what you do across different websites, without asking you first. Companies do this primarily to customize advertising, content and products based on your interests. They leave cookies in your browser that identify your computer (typically anonymously) and associate it things like what you’ve shopped or searched for recently. Some companies trade in this data, selling other parties the ability to leave their own cookie and associate it with some part of your profile.
“If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”
You are leaving digital footprints online. Those footprints are increasingly valuable to advertisers and marketers. How is your data — sites you’re visiting, what you’re reading online — being used, for good and bad?