Disconnect Extension: Meet the Plugin That Will Protect You From Data Mining
Disconnect is a browser extension currently functional for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers. It lets users of Facebook, Google and Twitter keep themselves from being tracked by over 2,000 third-party websites, and the Disconnect 2 app intends to cover a wider range of sites; the company has raised a $3.5 million Series A round.
Originally created in 2010, the browser extension will not only leave a cold trail for your e-stalkers, spies and trackers … the new Disconnect 2 extension also helps filter out malware and encrypts data that you share on sites "to prevent wireless eavesdropping." The extension has received new and greater attention because of the recent and still-unfolding indiscriminate NSA data mining scandal.
The company founders are Brian Kennish, formerly an engineer at Google, and Casey Oppenheim, a consumer rights attorney. "Increasingly, people want to know who’s tracking them online and want to have a say about what information is being collected about them," Oppenheim noted in a statement. "Our software is designed to put users back in control so they can decide how their personal data is used," adds Kennish.
In an added benefit, the company also promises that by cutting down on a lot of the tracking noise, users are actually able to see faster-loading pages and use 17% less bandwidth on average. Longer term, the company also hopes to protect users around the various features of data mining.
"We started by tackling third-party tracking because most people don't know their browsing history is being tracked by thousands of invisible websites they’ve probably never even heard of … We think there are way too many holes in online consumer security, which recent events have made even more obvious, and we want to help plug some of those holes."
The company is registered as a B Corporation, "which means we're able to spend more time than a traditional company on activities such as consumer education, petition drives, and close collaboration with non-profits," Gus Warren, part of Disconnect's executive team, noted in a statement. "Disconnect is committed to benefiting not just shareholders but all stakeholders, including the public."