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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