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Snippet from Wikipedia: Ghostery

Ghostery is a free and open-source privacy and security-related browser extension and mobile browser application. Since February 2017, it has been owned by the German company Cliqz International GmbH (formerly owned by Evidon, Inc., which was previously called Ghostery, Inc. and the Better Advertising Project). The code was originally developed by David Cancel and associates.

Ghostery enables its users to detect and control JavaScript "tags" and "trackers" in order to remove JavaScript bugs and beacons that are embedded in many web pages which allow for the collection of a user's browsing habits via HTTP cookies, as well as participating in more sophisticated forms of tracking such as canvas fingerprinting.

As of 2017, Ghostery is available for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari, iOS, Android, and Firefox for Android.

Additionally, Ghostery's privacy team creates profiles of page elements and companies for educational purposes.


Ghostery is a cost-free privacy browser extension for Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome owned by the privacy technology company Evidon. It enables its users to easily detect and control web bugs which are objects embedded in a web page, invisible to the user, that allow the collection of data on the user's browsing habits. Ghostery also has a privacy team that creates profiles of page elements and companies for educational purposes.<ref>Attacking Tracking: They're Watching You</ref>


Ghostery blocks HTTP requests and redirects according to their source address in two ways: Cookie Blocking and Cookie Protection (where available). When Cookie Protection is enabled, if a cookie is selected from Ghostery's list, it is not accessible to anyone but the user and thus unable to be read when called upon.


Ghostery reports relevant issues in a purple overlay inside the page DOM.

History and use

Originally developed by David Cancel, Ghostery was acquired by the privacy technology company Evidon in January 2010. Currently, through the use of a reporting function named “GhostRank” that users can opt into, Ghostery provides reports to Evidon about advertisers and data collectors, which Evidon then provides to advertising industry groups including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Direct Marketing Association, parts of the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA).<ref>Council to Enforce Online Tracking Principles</ref> These agencies then use those reports to monitor how Online Behavioral Advertisers operate and, when needed, refer them to the Federal Trade Commission.


Some sources say that Evidon, the company owning Ghostery, plays a dual role in the online advertising industry. Ghostery blocks sites from gathering personal information. But it does have an opt-in feature named GhostRank that can be checked to “support” them. GhostRank takes note of ads encountered and blocked, and sends that information, though anonymously, back to advertisers so they can better formulate their ads to avoid being blocked.<ref>Ad-Blocker Ghostery Actually Helps Advertisers, If You "Support" It</ref>

Thus, not everyone sees Evidon's business model as conflict-free. “Evidon has a financial incentive to encourage the program's adoption and discourage alternatives like Do Not Track and cookie blocking as well as to maintain positive relationships with intrusive advertising companies”, says Jonathan Mayer, a Stanford grad student and privacy advocate.<ref name=“MIT-TR_2013”/>

Tom Simonite of Technology Review explains that with the “Ghostrank” feature enabled Ghostery sends collected user data back to the vendor, who then offers it for sale to ad firms.<ref name=“MIT-TR_2013”>

</ref> This is also reflected in the German branch of the magazine.<ref name=“TechnologyReview_2013”>

</ref> Consequently, the German computer magazine Chip comes to the conclusion to not recommend installing the software and suggests NoScript as a (partial) alternative.<ref name=“Chip_2013”>

(NB. See summary (Fazit)).</ref>

According to Evidon, Ghostery does not collect any information which could be used to identify users or target ads specifically at individual users. Additionally, Ghostery would collect data only when Ghostrank is enabled. The collected data would be shared with the Better Business Bureau and offered to university students, researcher as well as journalists to support their studies.<ref>


See also


Anti-spam Internet advertising Firefox add-ons Google Chrome extensions Internet privacy

ghostery.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:34 (external edit)