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Ex-Google employees embark on mission to stop Google from tracking users

Zach Epstein
March 23rd, 2012 at 10:25 AM

“Don’t be evil” is an unofficial motto first uttered by a Google executive during a meeting years ago, and while it started as a playful slogan Google used to jab at its rivals, the three little words have come back to haunt the company on countless occasions. The press and users alike often resurrect the credo when discussing the company’s mission to collect as much information about its users as possible, thus allowing it to target advertising more effectively for its clients. Not all Googlers are on board with this mission, however. In an effort to help users protect their privacy, two former Google employees have created a company with the aim of stopping Google and other sites from tracking users. Read on for more.

“Advertisers and other third parties track, clutter, and slow down your web browsing,” Disconnect.me explains on its website. “Disconnect makes the web your business not theirs.”

The company offers a simple plug-in for Google’s Chrome browser that allows users to stop sites like Google, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook from tracking web browsing. According to TechCrunch, the Disconnect.me now attracts more than 400,000 weekly users. The company is just a few months old but it just raised $600,000 in funding from Highland Capital and other firms, and it aims to expand its service to block more websites from tracking users.

“We think your personal info should be treated with respect, that you should be the steward of your digital self, that you should own your own data,” the company states on its website. “But today, you’re getting a bum deal. Thousands of companies and organizations are taking, analyzing, and auctioning off things like the history of the webpages you go to and searches you do, without even telling you. So we’re building a platform to put you back in charge and let you decide who does what with your online data.”

Disconnect.me’s Chrome browser plug-in is free and available for download on its website.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.




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