Most websites have tracking systems installed. Some use internal trackers to analyze traffic on the site while others may use external analytics services such as Google Analytics, embed advertisement or display social media widgets.
Internet users may not be aware of this at all as this happens in the background for the most part. While some may run security software such as NoScript that informs them about these connections, most are probably unaware of what is happening in the backend.
That's where Tracker Watcher comes into play. The Firefox add-on analyzes the active website for trackers and displays all on an external page. It provides information about anonymity, sharing of information, sensitivity and deletion in an easy to understand manner.
Links to privacy statements of trackers are provided if available. Some trackers are not included in the list but are listed below the table. This could mean that the service does not have enough information yet about those trackers so that they are not added to the table.
The very same page links to opt-out pages for advertisers that support that option. Those links lead to the website of the developer of the tracker where the opt-out can be activated.
The Tracker Watcher website contains another link to a global opt-out page to opt out of all 91 companies that have been analyzed by the service or only 71 of those companies that have raised concerns.
Tracker Watcher can be downloaded from the Mozilla Firefox website.
Update: Tracker Watcher has been pulled from the Mozilla add-ons website. Firefox users can use add-ons like IPvFox or Ghostery which display similar information in the browser. Especially Ghostery is fairly similar to Tracker Watcher.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.