In July last year, Toolness, released a cool Firefox add-on, named Collusion, that draws a pretty visualisation of who’s tracking you as you visit different sites. It gained some popularity after Gary Kovacs, Mozilla CEO, showed it off in his TED talk yesterday.
It’s a great little add-on for making something quite hard to explain to people quite visible. However, I didn’t like the fact that it only showed trackers that set a cookie. For example, the requests to Facebook to fetch Like button JS, or calls to Google Analytics were being missed. There are lots of ways to track people other than cookies. So I edited the add-on to include third-parties to whom a request was made, but where a cookie wasn’t set.
This ends up providing much more data, and the graph gets busy quick. So I re-enabled the dynamic radius function that grows nodes with many incoming links. This gives you a quick visual way to see which trackers you’re hitting the most. I also updated the trackers list, as it was over 6months old. I’ll switch to the API once/if privacychoice makes it available.
Here’s an example of what a request to memeburn.com looks like with all tracker included, followed by the same session after hitting privacychoice.net’s top10 most tracker-heavy pages.
I’ve sent a pull request to the maintainers, so hopefully it’ll get merged. In the meantime, my edited add-on can be downloaded here:
- collusion-singe.xpi SHA1: 6a08ee743e22da29d97fff5b0e525264666fbcfb
I’d love any feedback you may have.
Caveat: This will show domains that obviously aren’t trackers, such as CDNs, but that’s minimal, and easy to spot with the new radius stuff.