Extension Lets You Know If Google Is Spying On You

Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Alarm Sounds With Google Tracking

    Google hasn’t been out the press over the past few months over privacy concerns.

    But a developer is fighting back. Google Alarm, which has been created by Jamie Wilkinson, is designed to bring some visibility to exactly how much personal information Google is collecting by giving users visual and audible alerts while they browse. It keeps a running stat about the percentage of visited websites that include Google “tracking bugs” including Google Analytics, Google AdSense and API calls.

    Jamie Wilkinson told Mashable that the alarm “inspects each page you visit for Google-related URLs: googleanalytics.com/ga.js for Google Analytics (Google Analytics), doubleclick.net/googlesyndication.com URLs for AdSense, youtube.com/v/ for YouTube  (YouTube) embeds, and many more.

    “Each service triggers an individual visual and audible alert to help you become more aware of when you’re transmitting data to Google.”

    There is also a notification that pops up on the corner of a browser informing users whenever Google is getting its hands on your personal information. The plugin is currently available for Firefox  and Chrome.

    Google has become one of the biggest companies bandied about when it comes to user privacy and for good reason. Last week it had been awarded a patent for displaying search results based on how people use their mouse cursor on the screen.

    It has also come under scrutiny from Consumer Watchdog, which has said that the Energy and Commerce Committee must conduct hearings into Google privacy violations, with information coming to light about Google’s classified contracts with the US government. Consumer Watchdog suggests that Google has been fibbing.

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