Google Disconnect, Block Google From Tracking You - gHacks Tech News

Google Disconnect, Block Google From Tracking You

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.

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Comments

  1. MacMac said on December 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm
    Reply

    How about an article explaining how to stop the real criminals from tracking you?
    Facebook and Microsoft.

  2. virtualguy said on December 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    Reply

    Google is just as criminal as FB and Microsoft. You can’t even get honest search results from Google. Google serves search results the same way they serve adverts… based on geographic location and search history. Use scroogle.com or duckduckgo.com instead. I prefer duckduckgo.

  3. Brian Graham said on December 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm
    Reply

    What about doing something on the so, so pervasive Babylon.
    I tried to delete this programmme using the uninstall in my Control panel, but, there is always something evading the uninstalll e.g. babylon search.
    Whilst trying to uninstall I have had two crashes trying to clear it.

    1. Mike J said on December 27, 2011 at 1:56 am
      Reply

      Brian Graham , I had the same problem.The thing is a barnacle!! Nothing gets rid of it! & Wikipedia has the gall to say it isn’t malware!!

  4. Threshold said on December 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm
    Reply

    To be honest I have several privacy protection added in Fox but I am getting fed up cause there is often something that doesn’t work on many websites at which point starts the scavengers’ hunt to determine which is blocking what.

    For this same reason I got rid of Noscript a long while ago cause it’s just way too intrusive.

  5. DanTe said on December 26, 2011 at 9:36 pm
    Reply

    Noscript is great. I can generally find out which sites requires which scripts to run. And if I encounter a site with massive scripts, I generally avoid them as proven slime balls. Or I run the site under Sandboxie. I’m only waiting for Noscript to work properly with Android and than I’m a happy paranoid.

  6. FFan said on December 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm
    Reply

    I guess Ghostery (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ghostery/) is much better and wider alternative.

  7. Transcontinental said on December 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm
    Reply

    I’ve tried this ‘Google Disconnect’ add-on and have noticed no issue but one, which I don’t explain:
    On youtube.com trying to open a video link in a new tab was impossible (middle-click here), it would open only a blank tab. Opening the link in the same tab was OK
    I agree with Martin’s comment as to the insufficiency of documentation regarding this add-on, I have no idea what it is performing exactly …

  8. elfsn said on December 27, 2011 at 7:46 am
    Reply

    Really? Can Google Disconnect work in Avant browser? Avant browser has added Gecko engine . it’s now support firefox 9.0.1. Can I install Google Disconnect in Avant?

  9. Michael Rose said on December 28, 2011 at 11:26 pm
    Reply

    I have a Dell Studio XPS 9000 (i7 Quad), x64 Vista Ultimate SP2 protected with Vipre Internet Security 2012, and IE 9. Vipre’s Web Filtering feature and its Firewall both use anti-virus definitions that are updated 3-4 times/day!

    Vipre Internet Security has been all that was necessary to kept these
    ‘snoops’ from following my web browsing or donating a free virus to my OS.

  10. Joe said on August 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm
    Reply

    What I’ve noticed with this addon is that embedded youtube videos no longer work. Going to YouTube and watching is fine, but embedded videos just show a blank space where the video would normally be. I thought this was AdBlock Plus issue…..but for me on a mac, it was the Google Disconnect. As disabling and restarting the browser meant a return of my embedded videos.

    1. Dickle said on May 22, 2017 at 3:31 am
      Reply

      Same here. I went through all my Palemoon add-ons, and I eventually figured out which one was to blame. Pity, because I like it, otherwise.

  11. Staff said on May 16, 2014 at 11:54 pm
    Reply

    Hi

    since some months google knows my city where i live.
    wow ! what a shit

    i live in germany.
    perhaps this is new here.
    we dont like this tracking.

    normally google knows only the location of my provider
    but now it seems that they got more infos.

    for me its nonsense too ,when the provider makes a list of IP adresses
    which belong to cities.
    this is not anonyme anymore !

    please help to to make a app for a “google proxy” which tells them a wrong IP adress.

    this is very bad.

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