When we are online we are often being tracked across a series of websites. It’s a growing concern for those interested in their own personal data security online. It’s also interesting to see how companies are sharing information about you and how your usage online is being tracked.
So it’s with great interest that I delved in to using Collusion from Mozilla supported by the Ford Foundation. The Firefox extension visualising and stores who is tracking you and how these companies are linked. It also has the option to be able to turn off this tracking.
From the Collusion website:
Not all tracking is bad. Many services rely on user data to provide relevant content and enhance your online experience. But most tracking happens without users’ consent and without their knowledge. That’s not okay. It should be you who decides when, how and if you want to be tracked. Collusion will be a powerful tool to help you do that.
The visualisation tool is also pretty neat looking. The screen shot is from a quick test I did by visiting Amazon, the BBC and ITV websites, eBay and Google. As you can see the connections start to build up.
I’m going to leave it running for a few days and see what kind of picture I get….might be quite scary just how much I’m being tracked.
Of course there are already mechanisms for turning off the tracking like Firefox’s own inbuilt option: