New tool lets you see who’s spying on you on the Web

Computer hacker - Male thief stealing data from laptop

With concerns growing over online security, tech giant Mozilla announced the Oct. 25 release of Lightbeam, a tool that will “shine a light on the commercial organizations which track your every move online,” according to The Independent.

The little “add-on” to Mozilla’s popular Firefox browser promises to empower users to turn the tables on third-party data trackers.

The Independent reported: “Users who activate Lightbeam will be able to see a real-time visualization of every site they visit and every third-party that is active on those sites, including commercial organizations which might potentially be sharing your data.”

But allowing individuals a glimpse into who’s tracking their data is just one advantage. Mozilla told The Independent it also hopes that “crowd sourcing,” or sharing data gathered by Lightbeam, will expose the identities of the Web’s biggest spies. That should give users what Mozilla called a “Wizard of Oz” moment, where the figurative curtain is pulled back to show just who the biggest players are in the data-gathering game.

Mozilla told The Independent that Lightbeam comes in response to growing privacy concerns after the U.S. National Security Agency was found to have tapped into Facebook servers. But the NSA represents just a fraction of the online agencies that stand to gain from data mining.

Mozilla said Lightbeam will not compromise the privacy of users who agree to share their Lightbeam data, according to The Independent.

The tool may be just what people need to fight back against Web-based threats. PC World called it “a helpful new tool in the effort to make the Web a more transparent place.”
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Matt Labo

Matt writes from his home in New Jersey. He has been writing fiction and non-fiction for several years, and has a passion for politics and sports.
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About Matt Labo

Matt writes from his home in New Jersey. He has been writing fiction and non-fiction for several years, and has a passion for politics and sports.

  • robbiedobbs

    I like how it only lets you track “commercial” organizations. What about private organizations like the NSA, FBI, DHS, etc.???

    • Ron Gilbert

      There is one that is similar to that but I would not recommend you download it. It’s called “Dark Side of the Moon” (named after the Pink Floyd tune) and whenever you go to a site that is monitored by these groups, it will play the song and it will do a drop down of the album cover. The problem with this is that you cannot stop the song while you are on the site and it is really annoying when trying to watch a video on a site while that plays in the background. Also, if you don’t like the program, it is quite difficult to get rid of. It’s almost like a serious trojan virus.