Friday 14 August 2015

EFF’s Privacy Badger: Another Tool in Your Privacy Toolkit

You have your VPN, your web proxy and your secure messenger. What else should you keep in your privacy toolkit?

EFF, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Privacy Badger, web tracking, third party
EFF's Privacy Badger blocks advertiser & third party tracking.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently released Privacy Badger 1.0, a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome that blocks advertisers and third parties from tracking activity online.

EFF Staff Technologist and Privacy Badger Lead Developer Cooper Quintin explained, "It's likely you are being tracked by advertisers and other third parties online. You can see some of it when it's happening, such as ads that follow you around the Web that seem to reflect your past browsing history. Those echoes from your past mean you are being tracked, and the records of your online activity are distributed to other third parties--all without your knowledge, control, or consent. But Privacy Badger 1.0 will spot many of the trackers following you without your permission, and will block them or screen out the cookies that do their dirty work."

Why we like Privacy Badger:
  • Privacy Badger shows users who was tracking them
  • Privacy Badger automatically initiates a "Do Not Track" browser setting
  • Committed digital privacy advocate EFF works for user privacy, not advertisers

What Privacy Badger won't do:
  • Block tracking by websites users actively visit (first party websites)
  • Block mobile web tracking
  • Block Internet Explorer, Opera or Safari web tracking 

Privacy Badger, in a nutshell: 
Privacy Badger 1.0 is an attempt to enforce what its corresponding Do Not Track policy cannot. Do Not Track empowers users to emerge from their shadows in order to assert their belief in a right to opt-out of tracking, but without legislative support, has found limited success in motivating first and third party trackers to voluntarily respect users' requests for privacy. Privacy Badger enables users to take matters into their own hands.

Neither Privacy Badger 1.0 nor the Do Not Track policy anonymizes identity or blocks all web tracking, but together they are powerful tools in the digital privacy toolkit. Be informed, surf secure and stay Rando!

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