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Monday, March 5, 2012

Now internet users can watch who is spying on them.


Turning the tables on Big Brother: Now internet users can watch who is spying on them in blow against Google's new snooping policy


  • Free Collusion add-on shows which companies watch as you browse
  • 'Real time' illustration of marketing companies snooping
  • Unveiled as Google shifts privacy policy to enable more advertising
  • Mozilla aims to share data with privacy campaigners


    Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, has unveiled a new add-on for the popular web browser that gives web users an instant view of which companies are 'watching' them as they browse.


    The move comes the same week that Google pushed ahead with its controversial new privacy policy, built to provide even more data for Google's $28 billion advertising business - despite concerns that the massive harvesting of private data might be illegal in many countries. 

    The Collusion add-on will allow users to 'pull back the curtain' on web advertising firms and other third parties that track people's online movements, says Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs.  

    Watching the watchers: A demonstration of Collusion's 'real time' view of advertisers watching - as web users browse popular sites such as IMDB (one of the grey dots), their movements are tracked by unwanted third party advertisers (the red dots)
    Watching the watchers: A demonstration of Collusion's 'real time' view of advertisers watching - as web users browse popular sites such as IMDB (one of the grey dots), their movements are tracked by unwanted third party advertisers (the red dots)

    Firefox
    Firefox is the world's second most popular web browser after Internet Explorer - a position under threat from Google's Chrome

    Google's business is built on advertising - the company earned $28 billion from its AdWords service in 2010.

    Google's new privacy policy allows it to 'streamline' data from Android phones, YouTube, Gmail and web browsing to target its adverts even more precisely towards individual web users.

    Mozilla's Firefox is the world's second most popular web browser, a position under threat from Google's own Chrome browser. 

    The Collusion add-on is an official Mozilla product, and was unveiled at the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference this week by Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs. 

    It creates a 'web' showing web users exactly which advertising firms are watching as they browse. 

    '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,' Mozilla said. 'It will show, in real time, how that data creates a spider-web of interaction between companies and other trackers.'

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