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

“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 been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.