Ghostery 6.0 is an update of the popular tracker blocking extension for the Firefox web browser that introduces a redesigned interface and feature additions.
Ghostery is a popular -- but also controversial -- browser extension for Firefox, Google Chrome and mobile operating systems that uses lists to block a selection of known tracking services from running when you connect to websites in your browser of choice.
These trackers record information about your visits, and often use one or multiple tracking methods to identify you on consecutive visits to the same site and other sites the tracker is embedded on.
The Ghostery 6.0 update is currently only available for the Mozilla Firefox web browser and it is unclear right now when the Chrome extension and other versions of Ghostery will be updated to the new version.
One of the major changes in Ghostery 6.0 is a redesign not only of the user interface of the extension but also of the Ghostery Web user interface, the tracker list, and social sharing.
One rather recent change was to separate the settings of Ghostery from the extension. If you want to configure Ghostery, say block or allow specific trackers, add trusted or restricted sites, or change general settings, you will have to do so on the Ghostery website.
An account is not required for that but one new feature added to Ghostery 6.0 is user accounts. This goes hand in hand with the synchronization of user settings across browsers and devices.
The feature is only implemented in Firefox currently which means that you can use it to sync data between Firefox versions currently. The Ghostery team plans to integrate user accounts and syncing of data to all Ghostery versions so that you will be able to sync data between all devices and browsers Ghostery runs on eventually.
The 2000+ trackers that Ghostery supports have been sorted into eight categories such as advertising, social media or comments to make it easier for users to block trackers using the extension.
The service will not track anything on first install but only report the number of trackers found on websites visited in Firefox. There it highlights the different tracker groups, and provides you with options to block or trust all of them.
To customize the blocking, it is necessary to click on "advanced settings" in the extension's UI. Doing so takes you to the Ghostery website where you can configure the allowed and blocked trackers, or tracker groups, as well as trusted sites or restricted sites.
Back when Ghostery started, there were rumors that the company behind the extension was selling user data. It denies that claim vehemently and provides the following statement on its websites in this regard.
For those of you who help support Ghostery by opting in to anonymously share your browsing data with us, rest assured that it won’t be associated with your account data. Same goes for if you have not opted-in to share any data with us, as we have never collected anything from you, and none of that has changed with Ghostery 6.0.
Mozilla Firefox users can download Ghostery 6.0 directly from the Mozilla Add-ons website.
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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.