Take Control Of Your Web Browsing!
Modern websites incorporate large amounts of third party resources. While these third parties can provide a better browsing experience all too often they abuse their inclusion on sites to be able to track information about your website’s visitors. Companies like DoubleClick and Axciom collect user data through ads or tracking pixels and sell it with impunity, compromising the privacy of web users. This type of non-consensual tracking must stop.
Many different solutions to this tracking have sprung up in recent years, the most prevalent of which are ad blockers. Unfortunately these blockers use pre-generated blacklists that can be slow to update, and are focused mainly on blocking visible ads not tracking. Additionally browsers have started fighting back, both Chrome and Firefox allow users to block all third party cookies. While Firefox has been working on built in tracking protection and Safari just released the ability to blacklist domains, there has been little work to block non-cookie browser identification for mainstream users.
The EFF is working on a browser extension that is hoping to solve all of this! It blocks cookies, HTML5 local storage ‘super cookies’, and canvas fingerprinting! It additionally works to make the HTTP DNT header a real tool for opting out of tracking via our legally binding DNT policy. As an extension available for Chrome and Firefox and GPL3 it’s a great project to protect users that anyone can contribute to without guilt. After this talk, attendees will feel empowered to end online tracking by knowing their enemies and by contributing to Privacy Badger!
Noah Swartz, EFF
Noah is a Staff Technologist on the Tech Projects team. He works on the various software the EFF produces and maintains, including but not limited to Privacy Badger.
Before joining EFF Noah was a researcher at the MIT Media Lab as well as a technomancer and free software/culture advocate. An avid game enthusiast, Noah was previously a professional Magic: the Gathering player, and has ascended in nethack four times. He lives in the Mission District of San Francisco with his family of twitterbots.