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29 February 2012, 12:40

Mozilla introduces Collusion, a new tracking mapper add-on

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Collusion's nodes
Collusion aims to educate about how tracking works online
Source: Mozilla

Mozilla wants people to be more aware of the third parties that track people on the web and, to help educate people, it has introduced the experimental Collusion add-on for Firefox. Collusion creates a new tab and displays an interconnected graph of sites the user has visited and the tracking sites which are using third-party cookies to track the user on those sites. As an example, a demonstration shows how two popular sites, and New York Times, by just sharing an advertiser, allow users to be tracked between the two sites.

Development on Collusion began last year when Atul Varma was inspired by Eli Parsier's book The Filter Bubble to experiment with mapping tracking cookies using the d3.js JavaScript library. The source for Collusion is available from its github repository and is tri-licensed under the MPL1.1/GPLv2/LGPLv2.1.

Mozilla is working with the Ford Foundation to build outreach campaigns to increase public understanding of the issues and benefits around tracking and how to choose whether they are tracked or not. Mozilla is also working with the W3C on Do Not Track standards which were recently recommended by the Whitehouse in its Consumer Privacy Bull of Rights proposal.


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