Thursday, 28 June 2012

You don't have to be tracked

Wherever you go online, lots of companies are tracking you, making sure they know where you are, what you're doing there and what kind of person you are. This data is worth a lot of money, but not to you. Its collection is invisible and silent, but there are tools to help make it go away.

Vanilla Cookie Manager sets expiry dates on tracking cookies that these tracking companies would have stick around forever.

Collusion shows you a graph of who is tracking you and how they link between sites.

I installed Collusion just as a bit of an experiment, to see where my data was going, and to see how well Vanilla was doing at protecting my privacy. It turns out Vanilla does fairly well, if the Collusion graph is to be believed. I never seem to have more than one or two sites central to my chart, but I'm sure there would be a lot more if Vanilla wasn't busy in the background removing cookies. If I didn't have Vanilla setting expiry dates on tracking cookies, my Collusion graph would look like an ant colony map crossed with a spider web, then scribbled on by a toddler.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'd rather the whole thing looked like a confused set of lonely islands.
PPS - But that's unlikely.

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