Do you know who tracks you while you are on the internet? How private do you think the internet is? It ends up we are like Hansel and Gretel, leaving breadcrumbs all over the web.
If you use Firefox as your browser or watch TED videos, you may have seen this video about all the little breadcrumbs we leave when we wander the digital woods. In his presentation, Gary Kovacs, who is the CEO of Mozilla Corporation, talks about behavioral tracking and privacy.
I downloaded Collusion and here’s two pictures of how I’ve been watched while on the internet. The first one shows the extra tracking done when all I did was check the weather. The centre dot is the weather site. The remaining 9 dots are now also tracking me. All I did was go to one site. The first couple of weeks after I installed Collusion, I would check how many extra dots there were from visiting the same site (The Weather Network) first thing in the morning. It varied. One day, I counted 14 additional dots.
This next image is after a couple of hours. I closed the sidebar and it still doesn’t show all the extra dots of sites that are tracking me.
If you are curious to see the trail you leave, here’s the link for the Collusion add-on for Firefox.
Because we are always being watched.
“… You can download it, install it in Firefox, to see who is tracking you across the Web and following you through the digital woods. Going forward, all of our voices need to be heard. Because what we don’t know can actually hurt us. Because the memory of the Internet is forever. We are being watched. It’s now time for us to watch the watchers.”