If you do any amount of web surfing on your PC, you know that web sites like to install "cookies" that are supposed to offer users various features when they revisit those sites. But how much information is really being shared between you and all of these web destinations? This week, Mozilla gave users of its Firefox web browser a graphical way to show just how many web sites are tracking them.
The effort is an experimental add-on for Firefox called Collusion. The add-on creates a graphic where the Firefox user can see not just which web sites are tracking their web surfing activities but how many of them are interconnected to each other. In the demo you see above, web sites like the Huffington Post, the New York Times, GameSpot, IMDB.com and more are all shown linked together in one form or another.
Mozilla says that when the full version of Collusion is released, it will also allow users to tell web sites not to share their data. It adds:
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.
Image via Mozilla