If you read tech blogs and technology oriented sites regularly you notice that privacy is a hot topic on those sites. Most readers who visit those sites cherish their privacy, while the majority of Internet users are likely unaware of how their privacy may be compromised on the Internet.
Tracking is directly related to a user's privacy online. Tracking happens in a number of ways, but they all have in common that they track the user globally and not only on a single domain or website.
This is done with a number of technological tricks, cookies for instance, unique identifiers or even a user's IP address if it is not dynamic.
User profiles are generated that are either sold to other companies, or used to display targeted ads to that user.
Do Not Track Plus is an extension for the Chrome browser that informs users about tracking on websites and at the same time blocks those scrips from being executed.
When you visit a website you will see the extension's address bar icon indicate the number of tracking related scripts that run on the site. All tracking related scripts are sorted into the three categories social buttons, ad networks and companies.
You can click on an entry to see a detailed listing of the scripts that run on the site.
Social buttons are blocked from sending out information. They remain active though which means that you can still like, tweet or +1 posts when you click on them. If you do, the functionality is activated again by Do Not Track Plus.
Ad networks display the scripts that track your activities on the current site. The extension links to opt-out information to prevent those sites from tracking you automatically (for as long as the cookie stays on your system, that is).
The third and final group is a list of all scripts that are tracking you on the site. You can unblock specific companies here. Keep in mind that this is a site-specific setting. If you disable the blocking of Adsense here on Ghacks, you will still have it blocked on all other sites by default.
Why would you want to unblock ads on some sites? To support the webmaster and site operators of course.
The extension furthermore computes an overall score of tracking related scripts that it blocked for you. You can turn off the extension on particular sites with a click on the On button in the top left corner of the screen. One of the issues that you will experience if you turn it off completely or on a per-script basis is that you need to reload the page manually before the changes become visible.
A click on Settings displays all companies that the extension recognizes on the web. Here you can unblock a specific company globally.
Watch the video below for more information:
The core issue that I personally have with the program is that it is not available in the Chrome web store, but only on the developer's website.
Chrome users can download Do Not Track Plus from that website.
Update: The add-on is also available in a version for the Firefox and Opera web browser.
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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.