“Tracking the trackers: Gary Kovacs explains Mozilla Collusion” #data #privacy #opinions / SML.20130202.SC.Data.Privacy.Opinions
It was said that data is the new oil . The data mining industry is an annual US$39 billion business. Like it or not, data is being collected about you surf the web. The technology was not intended as evil, but as Internet citizens we have the right to know what data is being collected and how it might affect us.
During a recent TED Talk, Gary Kovacs, the CEO of the Mozilla Corporations, demonstrated Collusion, a free Firefox add-on which visualizes your browsing behavior in real time. [2, 3]
In the visualization: the blue dots are sites which you have visited, the red dots are third party sites which are tracking you, and the gray dots are tracking data which could not be identified.
In his demo, Gary showed that 25+ sites started tracking him by checking emails during breakfast. An even more alarming aspect of this was installing the addon on his 9 year-old daughter’s computer and visualizing what companies are tracking through her browsing kids’ sites.
What Gary showed is the tip of an iceberg. Through my own consulting gigs in New York, several multi-national corporations have demonstrated what their own tech can track—which goes far beyond what is thought to be humanly possible. A very alarming feat indeed.
1. Data is the new oil - Human Face of Big Data © Nigel Holmes 2012 www.flickr.com/photos/emcuki/8008798697/
2. TED: Gary Kovacs: Tracking the trackers: www.ted.com/talks/gary_kovacs_tracking_the_trackers.html
3. Mozilla: Collusion: discovers who is tracking you online: www.mozilla.org/en-US/collusion/