Chrome extension that disables all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook
In the age of endless sharing, super cookies, social search results, and that ever-present social graph, it’s comforting to know that there are some who are still prioritizing privacy. (And a few of them are former Googlers no less!) In October 2010, Google engineer Brian Kennish created Facebook Disconnect, a Chrome extension that disables all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook servers but still allows you to access Facebook itself. The extension was an immediate hit, racking up 50K active users in two weeks (it now has 200K+), prompting Kennish to leave his job at Google to focus full-time on helping the average web user take back control of their data.
Shortly thereafter the former Google engineer launched Disconnect, applying the same method behind Facebook Disconnect to other major third-party sites, like Digg, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo, enabling you to disable data tracking while you browse.
Now collectively attracting over 400K weekly active users, Kennish tells us his privacy-protection tools ended up being much more popular than he ever expected. As a result, he decided to turn the side project into a real company, co-founding Disconnect with another ex-Google engineer, Austin Chau and consumer rights advocate Casey Oppenheim.
The company, which officially launched late last year, is founded on a simple premise: Personal data should belong to people, not corporations. So, the team is building Disconnect into a full-fledged platform that allows users to control who does what with their data online, Kennish says. The first step is to help users stop the free flow of personal information to third-parties, he says, while step two will be giving users customized controls that allow them to share personal info when and how they deem fit.
via TechCrunch – Rip Empsonᔥ
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