Sent to you by Megan via Google Reader:
Another rad browser plugin called Google Alarm hit the Internets this week, which alerts you every time your personal info is sent to Google's servers. How? Via notifications, a running tally of dangerous sites and, naturally, a super annoying, vuvuzela-like alarm.
After seeing this new plugin — which works with both Firefox and Chrome — on F.A.T., I contacted the developer who made it: Jamie Wilkinson, who also created Know Your Meme and Mag.ma. Google Alarm, which was made during F.A.T.'s F*ck Google Week in Berlin, is supposed to make users aware of how much info they're sending to the search giant.
According to Wilkinson, "Google makes great products and gives them all away for free, which has made them into a ubiquitous and omniscient force on the Internet. Google Alarm and F*ck Google in general are meant to illustrate how this single unregulated company now captures more information about us than any government agency ever could. When I started developing Google Alarm I was blown away to discover that 80+% of websites I visit have some kind of Google tracking bugs on them."
So how does the plugin work? "[It] inspects each page you visit for Google-related URLs: googleanalytics.com/ga.js for Google Analytics, doubleclick.net/googlesyndication.com URLs for AdSense, youtube.com/v/ for YouTube embeds, and many more," Wilkinson says. "Each service triggers an individual visual and audible alert to help you become more aware of when you're transmitting data to Google." If you're into the idea, the source code is currently open, and Wilkinsen welcomes suggestions. Check out the video below for more info:
We've been seeing a ton of interesting plugins like this lately — Shaved Bieber, BP Oil, Ex-blocker (which, disclosure, I helped come up with). It would be interesting to see if they actually become legit tools. Wilkinson would tend to agree: "Browser addons offer a unique opportunity to hack our web browsing experience," he says. "We spend so much time on the web that it's only natural to begin playing with how we observe and interact with it. I wish we had something as powerful for our TV sets."
What do you think of this plugin? I personally would not recommend enabling it unless you really dig the vuvuzela.
[img credit: twicepix]
Reviews: Chrome, Firefox, Google, Google Analytics, Internet, YouTube
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