Google, through its web properties and services, can track a large number of Internet users. This happens on Google websites such as Google Search, Google Plus or Maps, but also on third party websites that embed Google Adsense, Analytics or other widgets and scripts that the company offers.
Internet users who feel that the tracking goes to far can install programs that disable the tracking. This ranges from the excellent NoScript add-on for the Firefox web browser to the Disconnect extension for the Google Chrome web browser.
If you want to block Google from tracking your every move, you'd could install Google Disconnect for the Firefox web browser. The add-on has been created by Brian Kennish, who is also responsible for the Facebook Disconnect extension which blocks website communication with Facebook.
Google Disconnect works similar to that extension but with the difference that it is blocking communication with Google servers. The Firefox add-on blocks Google scripts running on websites.
This includes Google Adsense, Analytics and Google Plus. It is likely that additional scripts are blocked as well, but the Firefox add-on description is not providing enough information to tell which.
All Google services that you may use, Google Mail or Search for instance, continue to work as before. The extension is rather bare bones at the moment. Next to the missing list of services that it blocks, it is also not providing any visual indicators that scripts have been blocked. Options to block only select scripts are missing as well.
I have tested the add-on by opening websites that make use of Google services in Firefox with the script enabled, and in Google Chrome without the script. I also looked at the source code to make sure that the scripts were indeed not loaded at all.
Google Disconnect can be downloaded and installed at the official Mozilla add-on repository.Advertisement
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
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.