Risk
2/28/2012
06:28 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Mozilla 'Collusion' Reveals Online Tracking

Mozilla enlists Ford Foundation to support development of tracking visualization software to help Internet users make informed privacy choices.

Top Technology Venture Capitalists
Facebook Apps In Action
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Mozilla on Tuesday said the Ford Foundation has agreed to support the development of Collusion, browser add-on software designed to show Internet users how they're being tracked online.

Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla, demonstrated Collusion at the TED conference on Tuesday morning. In a blog post, he said the software "will allow us to pull back the curtain and provide users with more information about the growing role of third parties, how data drives most Web experiences, and ultimately how little control we have over that experience and our loss of data."

A Ford Foundation spokesperson said in an email that its grant is for $300,000. The philanthropic organization says on its website that it is "is pleased to support Collusion as part of our efforts to promote universal access, open systems, and diversity online."

In a related effort, Mozilla on Thursday at the Mobile World Congress in Spain plans to demonstrate Do Not Track, a privacy initiative designed to allow browser users to opt-out of online tracking, for its forthcoming Open Web Devices platform. The company has already implemented Do Not Track in Firefox for Android and says that, to date, 18% of users have chosen to opt-out of being tracked.

[ See our full Mobile World Congress coverage. ]

Privacy, it seems, is finally receiving serious consideration from both companies and lawmakers: Just last week, the White House proposed a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

Mozilla's effort to limit online tracking comes as its primary benefactor and competitor, Google, is being raked over the coals for bypassing the default privacy settings for users of Apple's Safari and Microsoft's Internet Explorer browsers, ostensibly because the settings interfered with other desired services.

Google is also under fire for attempting to simplify and unify the privacy policies for some 60 of its services into a single document, an effort that will allow the sharing of data across Google services to deliver more relevant content and advertising. The company plans to implement that change on Thursday.

Collusion is a visualization tool that may help users gain a better understanding of the privacy implications of using the Internet. With data from the user's browser cookies and Web history, it creates an interactive diagram to illustrate how website visits are tracked by advertising and analytics companies.

Mozilla's Collusion website acknowledges that not all tracking is bad. At the same time, it suggests there's something sinister about online tracking.

"If you haven't realized it yet, companies are tracking you across most of the sites you visit daily on the Web," Mozilla explains. "It's quite likely that these companies know more about you than your government. Some of them might even know more about you than your best friends."

Nominate your company for the 2012 InformationWeek 500--our 24th annual ranking of the nation's very best business technology innovators. Deadline is April 27. Organizations with $250 million or more in revenue may apply for the 2012 InformationWeek 500 now.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Sabrina
50%
50%
Sabrina,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2012 | 6:56:45 AM
re: Mozilla 'Collusion' Reveals Online Tracking
online tracking comes as its primary benefactor and competitor,
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-4403
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Zen Cart 1.3.9h allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) delete a product via a delete_product_confirm action to product.php or (2) disable a product via a setflag action to categories.ph...

CVE-2012-2930
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in TinyWebGallery (TWG) before 1.8.8 allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) add a user via an adduser action to admin/index.php or (2) conduct static PHP code injection attacks in .htusers...

CVE-2012-2932
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in TinyWebGallery (TWG) before 1.8.8 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) selitems[] parameter in a copy, (2) chmod, or (3) arch action to admin/index.php or (4) searchitem parameter in a search action to admin/...

CVE-2012-5451
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple stack-based buffer overflows in HttpUtils.dll in TVMOBiLi before 2.1.0.3974 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (tvMobiliService service crash) via a long string in a (1) GET or (2) HEAD request to TCP port 30888.

CVE-2015-0297
Published: 2015-04-24
Red Hat JBoss Operations Network 3.3.1 does not properly restrict access to certain APIs, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary Java methos via the (1) ServerInvokerServlet or (2) SchedulerService or (3) cause a denial of service (disk consumption) via the ContentManager.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.