Disconnect.me Lets You Control Your Data Online

Disconnect.me is a little app that makes the web a lot better by helping users monitor and block more than 2,000 websites from collecting their data online.

Why I’m Curious:

While security from hackers is a big concern for almost everyone, people don’t realize that marketers and publishers are tracking every move you make and collecting that information to inform business strategies, product development, and marketing initiatives.  Big data is a big business.   And although questions  about consumer privacy occasionally bubbles to the surface (usually when Facebook does something to annoy people), for the most part, people forget that it’s not just hackers who are interested in what they are saying, doing, sharing, posting, or saving online.  As more and more people become aware of just how much marketers really know about them  – MasterCard claims they can predict the success rate of a marriage within a 98% accuracy rate based on the data they collect on card members – there will be more demand for tools and apps that provide some type of barrier against data collection, which could have big implications for marketers.

The irony – the developer, Brian Kennish spent more than a decade working for DoubleClick and Google building the software that allows companies to track user data online. Only after he became a heavy Facebook user did he begin to think about what privacy really means:

“I really enjoyed using Facebook, but the fact that their social widgets were popping up all across the web meant that by virtue of my using Facebook, I was also giving Facebook a big chunk of my browsing history…That just seemed like a part of the deal that I didn’t sign up for.”

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