There are a lot of privacy tools available already that promise to block a whole range of ads, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) long-awaited Privacy Badger extension has finally officially launched after more than a year in testing.
While Ghostery, Adblock Plus, Disconnect, Keep My Opt Outs and a range of other services all do a similar job – blocking tracking by advertisers – the EFF thought the average internet citizen needed an easier tool to block “non-consensual trackers”.
“This event was off the charts”
Gary Vaynerchuk was so impressed with TNW Conference 2016 he paused mid-talk to applaud us.
Privacy Badger works by creating a list of the third-party domains that embed images, scripts and ads in any pages you visit. If it then finds that certain companies are receiving information about you via unique cookies as you visit different pages across the Web, the extension will block the loading of content from that source in future, thereby stopping you being tracked.
“The new Privacy Badger 1.0 includes blocking of certain kinds of super-cookies and browser fingerprinting—the latest ways that some parts of the online tracking industry try to follow internet users from site to site,” it says.
If a particular section of a Web page is vital to the content (like if it’s an embedded map, for example, versus a script loading a block of ads), then it will strip out the tracking information and cookies but allow connection to the content.
Ultimately, it wants the tool to become a code base that could be adopted by mainstream browsers (or extensions) to give users better control over which companies receive their data through tracking online behavior.
With more than a quarter of a million testers trying it out over the course of the last year, Privacy Badger 1.0 should be relatively stable and works in tandem with the new Do Not Track policy it announced a few days ago.
It’s available for both Firefox and Chrome.
➤ Privacy Badger [EFF]
Read next: No one wants to protect your privacy
Read next: Stupid things founders say about UX