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Friday, October 25, 2013
Lightbeam for Firefox Lets You See Who Is Monitoring You

Mozilla has released Lightbeam, a Firefox plugin that visualizes which sites are tracking your browsing history and how those sites are connected.

Lightbeam is a Firefox add-on that enables you to see the first and third party sites you interact with on the Web. Using interactive visualizations, Lightbeam shows you the relationships between these third parties and the sites you visit.

As you browse, Lightbeam reveals the full depth of the Web today, including parts that are not transparent to the average user. Using three interactive graphic representations -Graph, Clock and List - Lightbeam enables you to examine individual third parties over time and space, identify where they connect to your online activity and provides ways for you to engage with this unique view of the Web.

When you activate Lightbeam and visit a website, sometimes called the first party, the add-on creates a real time visualization of all the third parties that are active on that page. The default visualization is called the Graph view. As you then browse to a second site, the add-on highlights the third parties that are also active there and shows which third parties have seen you at both sites. The visualization grows with every site you visit and every request made from your browser. In addition to the Graph view, you can also see your data in a Clock view to examine connections over a 24-hour period or in a List view to drill down into individual sites.

As a default, all info generated and used for Lightbeam's visualizations and features are stored locally on your computer. You may also reset Lightbeam to erase your locally stored connection history, disable it to stop data collection or uninstall it to instantly remove all locally stored data related to Lightbeam.

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