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December 21, 2010

Plugin to Disconnect: Regain Browsing and Search Privacy

Ex-Google employee Brian Kennish has been developing a web browser plugin dubbed ‘Disconnect‘, which aims to restore users’ web browsing and searching privacy on a number of major sites. The plugin, which current supports Google, Facebook, Digg, Twitter and Yahoo, blocks uniquely-identifying cookies which are used to track individual users’ browsing activity and searches. Brian also created ‘Facebook Disconnect‘ which prevents Facebook from tracking you on any website that uses the Facebook Connect functionality.

Both of these plugins de-personalize your normal browsing and searching, whilst allowing you to continue using services like Google and Facebook normally. You can see which cookies are being blocked in real-time, and unblock any that you may want. Note that the search de-personalization currently only works on the google.com domain (not local country domains).

At the moment these plugins are only available for Chrome and RockMelt (a new social media-embedded browser I just heard of), but a Safari extension and Firefox add-on are on the way!

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