Mozilla's Lightbeam tool will expose who is looking over your shoulder on the web

Discussion in 'Technical' started by stg58, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I will definitely check it out.

    The irony is that Google literally just down the road from Mozilla in Mountainview...

    Just who is looking over your shoulder when you browse the Internet? Tomorrow, web users will be given a new tool to shine a light on the commercial organisations which track your every movement online.

    Lightbeam, a download produced by Mozilla, the US free software community behind the popular Firefox browser, claims to be a “watershed” moment in the battle for web transparency.

    Everyone who browses the Internet leaves a digital trail used by advertisers to discover what your interests are.

    Users who activate Lightbeam will be able to see a real-time visualisation of every site they visit and every third-party that is active on those sites, including commercial organisations which might potentially be sharing your data.

    Mozilla wants users who install the Lightbeam add-on to Firefox, to crowd-source their data, to produce the first “big picture” view of web tracking, revealing which third-parties are most active.

    Lightbeam promises a “Wizard of Oz” moment for the web, “where users collectively provide a way to pull back the curtains to see its inner workings,” Mozilla claimed.

    Mark Surman, Mozilla’s executive director, said: “It’s a stake in the ground in terms of letting people know the ways they are being tracked. At Mozilla, we believe everyone should be in control of their user data and privacy and we want people to make informed decisions about their Web experience.”

    Mozilla already offers users the ability to disable “cookies” - small files that download from websites onto a computer, allowing advertisers to target users based on their online activity – an option taken up by 18 per cent of UK Firefox users.

    Lightbeam will reveal the source of the third-party adverts, scripts and images stored on a web page which are linked to servers in other domains. An expanding graph visualises the interactions between the sites a user intentionally visits and the third parties which may not be welcome.

    Mozilla has come under “tremendous pressure” from trade bodies over its mission to bring transparency to the web, said Alex Fowler, the company’s Privacy Officer.

    The software company said it was responding to increased privacy concerns following the revelation that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had tapped directly into the servers of Internet firms including Facebook, to track online communication in a surveillance programme.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  2. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Cheers for them for throwing some light on those that want to track us..
  3. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    By installing a plugin that, instead of allowing websites to use shared information on our computers (cookies), sends that data to them so they can...track us.

    Yes, I know that's not what it's "for" but we're still being tracked. It doesn't matter what guise it's presented under.

    Haven't read the terms of service but the information simply cannot be used "in the aggregate" to do what they want to do, and if you have usernames stored in your cookies (which many people do), it is NOT anonymous and CAN be traced back to you, period, end of discussion.
  4. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Yup, DarkLight, I too was a little confused when I read about the specifics on how it operates. I may not be a hardcore techie, but something seems a little amiss. Maybe a hardcore techie can shed some light on this. How is the Lightbeam going to improve anything for us?
  5. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Monkey++

    I'm interested to see the details. Nice move if they are true to their pronounced stand for user awareness. Next step would be to enable countermeasures.

    In general, most companies subscribe to shared cookies and dats collections via Google, Doubleclick and/or Amazon. Ever notice how Amazon starts presenting you with item suggestions based on topics you post in some forums?

    Also, any content hosted by another site enables tracking when your web browser loads that page and that content item, even if it is just one pixel (which is an actual method employed by some).

    Of course the NSA watches everything.
  6. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Will continue to wait for responses by those that KNOW...
  7. PapaGrune

    PapaGrune Inside the firestorm

    Use adblocker and ghosty. The new Firefox upgrade removed then so I had to reinstall them.

    sent from inside the fire tornado
  8. PapaGrune

    PapaGrune Inside the firestorm

    There was a app that I had found just like that but it seems gone with the upgrade.

    sent from inside the fire tornado
  9. PapaGrune

    PapaGrune Inside the firestorm

    This is what was Collusion which from a TED talk about on line tracking by Gary Kovacs Mozilla CEO I used it for years. What it did was give you a graphical view of your travels and what sites tracked you. Addblock and ghosty actually do something about that. Upgrades can make those not work till they are updated. I went back a upgrade that made a lot of stuff not work

    sent from inside the fire tornado
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