London - Web users will from Friday be able to follow the commercial organisations that track their every movement online.
Lightbeam, a download from Mozilla, the US free software community behind the popular Firefox browser, claims to be a “watershed” moment in the battle for web transparency.
Everyone who browses the internet leaves a digital trail used by advertisers. Users who activate Lightbeam will be able to see a real-time visualisation of every site they visit and every third party that is active on those sites - including commercial organisations which might potentially be sharing your data.
Mozilla wants users who install Lightbeam, which will only be available to desktop users, to crowd-source their data, producing the first “big-picture” view of which third-parties are the most active.
Lightbeam will provide a “Wizard of Oz” moment for the web, “where users collectively provide a way to pull back the curtains to see its inner workings,” Mozilla claimed.
Mozilla has come under “tremendous pressure” from trade bodies over its mission to bring transparency to the web, said Alex Fowler, the company's privacy officer.
The software company said it was responding to increased privacy concerns. - The Independent