If you are like me and are somewhat concerned about the ability of large companies and three letter organizations (ahhem… NSA) tracking your web browsing through web browser cookies, evercookies or more recently, super cookies, shared by online advertising networks, there is now a trusted solution that should help: The Privacy Badger from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The Privacy Badger web browser plugin block’s cookies from 3rd party websites from loading when you visit a website. For example if I navigate to the New York Times website, there will be browser cookies from nytimes.com that load to help keep make the browsing and reading experience more enjoyable, and to provide useful features. There will be other 3rd party, typically ad network cookies that will also load that can track my web browsing between websites that belong to the ad network to provide me with more interesting and relevant ads. In the case of the NSA they are tracking me to make sure I’m not doing anything they don’t approve of.
If either of these strike you as creepy or wrong, Privacy Badger give you fine grain control over with ad network 3rd party cookies you will allow to track your movements. Privacy Badger automatically blocks the cookies from organizations they believe are not trustworthy, but allows you to easily un block them if you with. On the other hand, you can block cookies from any website you like. In some cases blocking cookies can “break” websites, so you always have the option of either not using the website, or telling Privacy Badger to not block cookies that website uses.
I hope the image on the right gives a better sense for how pervasive the practice of 3rd party ad tracking cookings are. You can see in the Privacy Badger settingsthat on one webpage for a local newspaper, there were 31, 3rd party trackers loading with the webpage. Privacy Badger goes a long way toward giving you the control over your on line privacy, from the web advertising companies at least.