The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has a new privacy tool available. The Privacy Badger is a free extension for Chrome and Firefox. It blocks some of the most objectionable forms of tracking by third-party advertisers, and is very easy to use.
How it Works
Privacy Badger works similarly to most ad and script blockers. It’s based on ABP code, so those who have that extension installed should find it familiar. That being said, Privacy Badger is not an ad blocker; it’s a tracking blocker.
The extension identifies domains that are tracking you from site to site. As it identifies them, it blocks them. It uses a simple, color-coded method of allowing you control over blocking.
If a site is listed as green, it doesn’t appear to be tracking you and Privacy Badger doesn’t do anything to block it. If a site is yellow, Privacy Badger is aware that the site in question does provide information to third parties, but it doesn’t block the site; it merely blocks cookies from that site. Yellow-listed sites also include sites that require tracking to function.
A site that’s labeled as red is blocked entirely. You can change this in the settings if blocking a particular domain causes problems for you.
The purpose of Privacy Badger is to eliminate Do Not Track violations from third-party sites. First-party sites, such as Facebook and Amazon, might have trackers on them, but these aren’t affected by Privacy Badger. The extension only works on third-party sites. If Privacy Badger detects a domain following you from site to site, it will block it out.
Does It Eliminate the Need for Ad Blockers?
Privacy Badger doesn’t block ads by design, though blocking some third-party sites may also block out their ads.
You’ll still want ad blocking software if you want to reduce the amount of advertisements you see. Privacy Blocker doesn’t replace script blockers, either, so you’ll want to have a script-blocking extension installed on your browser, as well, to ensure the best possible security.
If you have good privacy extensions on your browser already, we recommend keeping them and adding Privacy Badger as a way to enhance what you already have.
Where to Get It
You can download and install Privacy Badger right from Chrome or Firefox. You can also go to the EFF site to get a copy of the extension to install it manually.
It’s worth it to check out Privacy Badger. It might just improve your overall privacy online, it’s easy to use and it does allow you to restore sites that get blocked mistakenly, so there’s no loss of control for the user.