Cliqz acquires Ghostery

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 15, 2017
Updated • Feb 19, 2017

Cliqz, a German company owned by Burda Media and Mozilla, has acquired the popular anti-tracking tool Ghostery and the Ghostery brand.

We reviewed Ghostery several times here on Ghacks Technology News, the last time in September 2016 when the company behind the product released Ghostery 7 for all supported operating systems.

The company did make the news a year earlier when it sneaked a new promotional messaging system in the extension. It has been criticized as well for its GhostRank feature which records which ads are encountered and blocked.

The browser extension adds anti-tracking to the web browser. This is different from ad and content blockers which block advertisement, tracking and more.

Ghostery concentrates on the tracking part, but may block some ads as a consequence as well. The extension gives you options to allow or block certain trackers

The German company Cliqz is probably not as widely known. You may remember the name from one of Firefox's Test Pilot projects of the same name, or if you tried the company's main product, a web browser with improved search capabilities and improved user privacy.

The Firefox Test Pilot project added some of the features of the Cliqz web browser to Firefox.

Cliqz acquired the Ghostery brand, extension, and a development team responsible for the extension today. Ghostery's parent company Evidon is not part of the deal. It's access to anonymous data that Ghostery users provide freely remains.

According to the press release on the Ghostery website, Ghostery remains an independent product that the team will continue to work on. The team plans to integrate Cliqz's anti-tracking technology into Ghostery. This adds heuristic blocking to Ghostery, which relies currently on blocklists to get the job done.

Ghostery will also be integrated in the Cliqz browser "immediately". Since Cliqz is a German company, Ghostery's data collecting will abide by the "stronger" German privacy laws. The company updated its privacy policy already to reflect the change.

Ghostery's development team plans to work closely with Cliqz according to the press release to improve Ghostery further, and find "concepts and opportunities".

Among these will be the trial implementation of the Human Web as the infrastructure that we use to collect data to improve our own products. It’s important to underscore how cutting-edge this technology is and the importance it plays in collecting data safely and responsibly from users in a way that completely guarantees their anonymity and privacy.

You can find out more about the Human Web on the Cliqz website, or check out the source code on GitHub directly.

Interested users may join the beta group to participate in some of these texts and experiments.

Closing Words

It remains to be seen if nothing will change indeed, or if there will be some fallout or changes.

Now You: What's your take on the acquisition?

Cliqz acquires Ghostery
Article Name
Cliqz acquires Ghostery
Cliqz, a German company owned by Burda Media and Mozilla, has acquired the popular anti-tracking tool Ghostery and the Ghostery brand.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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