Thursday, 23 February 2012

Online Privacy. - minor update

I have to confess that I quite liked Facebook. It has been a useful tool to keep in touch with friends and family. Recently however it has become annoying. Services and social media have become more intertwined, maybe that’s useful in some circumstances?

My Facebook page is becoming more and more filled with rubbish. Mostly so far this consists of entries along the lines of “XXX has listened to –insert band name – on Spotify, with a link to listen yourself. This is plain annoying but probably harmless.

I wonder how long it will be before everything you do on one service is not just tracked but also openly reported to all the others? Your blog entry, or your comments on blogs, being reported to everyone on Facebook? Maybe some people want this but I certainly don’t, I like to keep my separate interests compartmentalised and my web browsing private.

Therefore I have been playing with a free browser add-on called “Do not Track Plus”. It sits in the control bar and claims to selectively block software trackers from social networks, add agencies and tracking companies. It also reports what it has blocked so you can open the door if you want. The number and scope of the blocklist makes for quite a scary list on some sites.

I have absolutely no connection with the supplying company, I cannot guarantee now effectively it does what it promises but my reader (hello Mum) may want to take a look. The basic service is free (extra services are not, that’s how they make their money). It can be downloaded here.

There are some instructions here - from the Mail no less - on how to remove your existing browse history from Google.


  1. Thanks - that looks useful. I've just downloaded it and tried it on The Telegraph website - it claims to have blocked 17 trackers.

  2. Yes, Newspaper web sites bring up quite a list don't they! They seem to load much quicker with the trackers blocked too.

  3. I hate Fecbook. Leads to all kinds of troubles. One more way for the powers that be to track you. Avoid google too, their new privacy policies practically make them an arm of the police state. Use Hides your search history.
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