Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.


Reading the back of the menu at Buck’s, while waiting for my burger the other night, reminded me of an important topic I have been meaning to share with you since its announcement at the recent TED U event. (If you are not familiar with the TED Talks, click here.) It concerns a subject near and dear to my heart, and this little item is a bit of good news for all us ‘little guys’.

What I am talking about is called “Collusion”.

Meet Collusion, announced today onstage at TED U

This morning onstage, Gary Kovacs of Mozilla announced a fascinating browser add-on for Mozilla: Collusion. It allows you to track who’s tracking you online … and the results are surprising to say the least.

You should know, tracking our online behavior is big business. The revenues involved in the top online tracking companies is over $39 billion — I’m in the wrong business: that’s pretty good money for spying on us!

(And f you think this is some small issue.. or some NBD thing that only happens when you’re online doing Google searches, you really really really need to watch the video Big Brother Big Business. I think it ought to be required viewing before you can vote!)

Why this is important:

“Take control of your data

We recognize the importance of transparency and our mission is all about empowering users — both with tools and with information. The Ford Foundation is supporting Mozilla to develop the Collusion add-on so it will enable users to not only see who is tracking them across the Web, but also to turn that tracking off when they want to.”

What you should do: Please take two minutes (or less) and look at the animated demo, here, Learn about how these vile and repugnant “tracking cookies” automatically build a “behavior profile” about all of us, so somebody can make an easy buck selling our ‘information’.. or serving us up “targeted advertisement”.

[ Update:  A version is available for Chrome as well. See, Collusion for Chrome maps how sites are tracking you, courtesy of the Disconnect team. ]

Related reading:

* TED 2012: New Browser Add-On Visualizes Who Is Tracking You Online

* Say Everything

As younger people reveal their private lives on the Internet, the older generation looks on with alarm and misapprehension not seen since the early days of rock and roll. The future belongs to the uninhibited.

Unrelated: Privacy concerns drive 1 in 4 Facebook users to lie

Almost 13 million users say they have never set or didn’t know about privacy controls on Facebook, according to Consumer Reports.

(I wonder how many million declined to admit their ignorance..?)

Much good information here. I hope you’ll click some links (at least view the demo).

Today’s quote:Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 7, 2012 - Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. collusion tracking can be found as an extension to Chrome too.




    Comment by dkdude | May 7, 2012 | Reply

  2. So many places of which our surveillance is required becomes fatiguing, also robbing us of any thing on the WWW that we enjoy.
    The dangers/fears that we become aware of can take on “a life of its own” one needs to find a “balance” in dealing with it all.

    Paul, I like your mention of BUCK’S…an interesting place!


    Comment by Gaia | May 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      Bucks is a bit of a “Silicon Valley Landmark”, though quite “off the beaten path”.

      I would be curious to know how many tech companies and “innovations” were born at the tables there (or… at the bar).


      Comment by techpaul | May 8, 2012 | Reply

      • Bucks..
        Urban Gardeners…I like what they represent/produce…Organic Food…by the way of the “innovators and the technology” put to good use.
        Your comment is interesting too.


        Comment by Gaia | May 8, 2012 | Reply

        • Gaia,
          It is my practice not to “name drop” here. But Bucks seemed a harmless enough exception, and I am glad at least one person found it interesting.


          Comment by techpaul | May 8, 2012 | Reply

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