Collusion: a plugin to visualize cookie trackers

Posted on 2012/07/09

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All the relevant sites on the Internet use cookies in some way or another. All the cookies in our browser can be considered the digital traces we leave when we surf. Up until now I had difficulties understanding the dimension of the problem, or how much of me is potentially passed around without asking my consent. Recently I found a powerful tool that helps me visualize this. It’s called Collusion and it’s a browser addon for Firefox, but ports are also available for Chrome and Safari.

Collusion Network Graph

Collusion Network Graph

The tool collects the behavior of the sites I visit, tracking the connection between them and the possible relations in sharing my browsing history. For each site it can give details about to what other sites is potentially giving my history, and from what sites is potentially getting info. In this sense this tool is “Tracking the trackers”, which is the title of the TED talk about the plugin.

 

 

What I like about this tool is that it gives an immediate feedback about the extent of the tracking. I strongly suggest using a cookie blocker such as Cookie Monster, that protects effectively against cookie tracking. You could try to visualize the Collusion network graph with and without a cookie blocker (or Firefox Incognito mode) and really see for yourself the difference that it makes.

 

Posted in: Security