Collusion Add-on For Firefox Will Show You Who’s Tracking You Online

Watching The Watchers

Firefox CEO, Gary Kovacs, took to the stage at TED yesterday to discuss privacy issues in regards to what sites are tracking you, and how you can find out who they are.

He was talking about Collusion, which is a Firefox add-on developed by Atul Varma, who was inspired to build it by Eli Pariser‘s book The Filter Bubble.

The add-on works just as he describes in his talk, in that it displays for you in real-time what sites are tracking you and how they link to other sites as well. For example, whenever I open my browser first thing in the morning, I will normally head to my bookmarks, choose ‘Forums’ which is my most used one and choose ‘Open all in tabs’ which opens all 10 sites at once.

When I do this with Collusion installed and hit the Collusion icon (bottom right of my screen above the clock) it will open a new tab displaying how the sites that I currently have open are being tracked by the various trackers out there.

Collusion in action

You can use your mouse to hover over any item to get more information on it, or to isolate a particular site to watch its interactions.

Collusion in action

As I said, the add-on watches what you are doing in real-time so as you visit more sites, the graph is instantly updated to reflect what I happening and your graph will continue to expand.

It’s a fantastic tool to visualise what the different trackers do and how they interact, so go and download it to see for yourself, or view the demo here.

You can read an interview between Mozilla and the developer of Collusion here.

If you want to block companies from tracking you on the internet, you can install TrackerBlock for Firefox and Internet Explorer

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