See who is tracking you online with Collusion

Have you ever thought about the amount of information that is shared about you – freely – online?   Are you ready to be shocked and perhaps a little unnerved?

I recently came across an extension for Chrome called Collusion (there is also a Firefox version) and it’s pretty neat.

After you’ve installed it, a small icon appears on your toolbar like this:

All you need to do is visit any web page and then click on the icon.  Collusion will then generate a bubble graph with the current site at the center and then each site that was sent personal data about you around it.  Here’s an example from a single visit to a major social media blog (click on image for full size):

For me, this is pretty frightening.  One visit to one website and some information about that visit was sent to a total of 26 different sites!  The circles outlined in red are considered confirmed tracking sites.

Collusion continues to track this information until you clear/reset the graph.  And so here’s what it looks like after just another couple of minutes of random browsing:

Although all of this data flying around does not necessarily mean that your private/personal details are being shared to all and sundry – websites are increasingly using apis and third-party web services to provide the functionality that they require (e.g. commenting engines, social media shares, etc).  But I still think that this is pretty alarming and certainly makes me consider my own views on online privacy.




  1. Yeah me too.  Still can’t believe that one page on one site generates 26 connections to other sites (many of which are tracking).

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