EFF Releases New Online Tool That Promises to Prevent Online Spying

Privacy Badger is a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome that detects and blocks tracking content

privacyBy John Vibes,

True Activist.

Internet freedom activists from the Electronic Frontier Foundation have crated a new online tool, which they say will protect your privacy while browsing the web.  Recently, the group announced the release of Privacy Badger, a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome that detects and blocks online advertising and other embedded content that tracks you without your permission.

According to a press release, the extension includes a feature that automatically limits the tracking function of social media widgets, like the Facebook “Like” button, replacing them with a stand-in version that allows you to “like” something but prevents the social media tool from tracking your reading habits.

“Widgets that say ‘Like this page on Facebook’ or ‘Tweet this’ often allow those companies to see what webpages you are visiting, even if you never click the widget’s button,” said EFF Technology Projects Director Peter Eckersley. “The Privacy Badger alpha would detect that, and block those widgets outright. But now Privacy Badger’s beta version has gotten smarter: it can block the tracking while still giving you the option to see and click on those buttons if you so choose.”

“Users who install Privacy Badger aren’t just getting more privacy and a better browsing experience for themselves—they are providing incentives for improved privacy practices and respect for Do Not Track choices across the Internet,” said Eckersely. “Using Privacy Badger helps to make the Web as a whole better for everyone.”

The unfortunate thing here is that there was no mention in the press release as to whether or not this extension would be capable of preventing government agents from spying on your internet activities.  Chances are that it will not be able to prevent agencies like the NSA from spying on you, even some of the toughest encryption browsers have been found to contain backdoors through which government agents can spy.  Even so, for people who are concerned about their privacy on the internet, it is important to have as many tools at your disposal as possible.

To install the beta version of Privacy Badger click the following link: https://www.eff.org/privacybadger

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