Turning inner space into outer space

July 5, 2014

Trackers keep an eye on your every Internet movement

There really is no such thing as privacy on the Internet. Virtually every website has software that logs your visit and makes a note of it when it spots you at another site that it tracks.

Typically these trackers are trying to get to know you so they can show ads for products you’re likely to buy.

At Pando Daily, Paul Carr installed a browser extension called Ghostery that shows the names of trackers on the sites you visit. He found that it was not unusual for websites to have 20 or 30 trackers.

I’ve spent maybe an hour visiting every possible site I could think of, from personal homepages to the biggest sites on the web and wasn’t able to find a single site that wasn’t tracking me in some way.

He obviously didn’t go to the website for my daughter’s elementary school. It has not a single tracker. Still, once you move on to commercial sites, the numbers quickly climb into the dozens.

Here at newsonaut, by the way, the only tracker is Google Analytics. I haven’t looked at it in ages. Maybe I should.

Browser extensions like Ghostery can also block trackers, preserving privacy and speeding up page loads. An alternative that does much the same thing is called Disconnect.