Sunday, May 06, 2012
Ever wanted to know who is tracking you online in real-time? Wanted to be able to choose who should be able to track your online footprints and who should not be able to stalk you? Mozilla and Ford Foundation has come up with a new add-on for their Firefox browser which would do just the same - Collusion.
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, in real time, how that data creates a spider-web of interaction between companies and other trackers. Want to know exactly what I am talking about, here's a demo.
Interested? Download the Collusion add-on for Firefox from here. Click on the Add to Firefox button. This add-on does not require a restart, but to see it you might need to press Ctrl+'/' and then click on the Collusion icon from the add-on bar. On Mac, go to the View menu, then the Toolbars menu, then check "Add-on Bar".
After that all you need to do is keep browsing the web. As you do that the graph on the page on your Firefox browser would keep growing. Here each circle represents a website, sites with a halo are the sites that you have visited, site in gray are the ones that you haven't visited and an arrow from one to another means that the former site has set one or more third-party cookies to inform the latter site about your visit. You can hover over the circles to know more about each sites.
Firefox is working on adding more features, such as the ability to click on any node in the graph and tell Firefox to block third-party cookies to that site. Along with that they are also working on visualizing other methods of tracking besides third-party cookies. If you would like to keep an eye on their progress, file a bug, request a feature, or get a copy of the source code, please go to this site.
Now enjoy the visual sonata of Collusion. And don't forget to befriend us on Facebook.