A couple of folks in my RSS feed linked to Dustin Curtis’s blog post titled “Twitter is tracking you on the web”. That post seems to be making rounds around the blogosphere right now. My first thoughts were “isn’t this common knowledge.” Perhaps not.
All three social giants — Twitter, Facebook, and Google — have buttons on many websites. Any site with a social button present is being tracked by one of these companies. If you’re always logged into your social accounts, this information is most likely linked to your account. I cannot say how long these giants keep that information on file, it’s not something I could dig up from their privacy policies.
The good news is there is an easy way to stop being tracked. You can use the following add-ons to stop all three sites from tracking you. I use Firefox myself, but all of these add-ons are avaliable in Chrome as well.
- Ghostery – Blocks all three giants, as well as hundreds of other networks. If you need to disable one of the trackers for whatever reason, you can do it easily and quickly. Recommended. Link for Firefox, Google, Safari, IE, Opera.
- ShareMeNot – Blocks all three giants. Easy to enable the buttons on demand. Works well. Link for Firefox and Chrome.
- disconnect – Blocks all three giants as well as Linked In and Yahoo. I’d recommend ShareMeNot over disconnect, at least on Firefox. Link for atleast Firefox and Chrome.
These sites also have a bit more details about the tracking process and privacy problems that arise from it. Definitely read their about sections to get a better grasp of the information.