Larry Magid: San Francisco’s Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches Plug-In To See If You’re Being Tracked Online
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco’s Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched a new plug-in that tells people whether they’re being tracked while online. You can install the program on either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, which are two of the more popular browsers.
When you go to a site, a panel (for lack of a better term) comes up that tells you how many trackers there are. I looked at a site and there were 18 trackers, but they were for the most part, benign.
Tracking cookies are very common on commercial websites. In fact, I was surprised that even on my own website is tracking people and I didn’t even know it. I use Google Ads as a way of making a bit of money on my website. I do it because it means I don’t have to sell ads or get involved with the companies that I might write about.
The number of sites out there that are collecting information is rather shocking. This plug-in tells you about these trackers, but what’s neat about it is that you can tell it to turn off the tracking and still enjoy the content.
Electronic Frontier Foundation is a non-profit organization that isn’t really selling anything here and has had a good reputation in the tech community. It is part of their campaign and it should be known that they have a very strong opinion about privacy issues.