Most people don’t even know it exists but the new ETag technology is a serious privacy invasion that places undeletable cookies on your computer. The analytics provider KISSmetrics was the first to use it, many major websites like Hulu and Spotify distributed these cookies to millions of their users.
Due to a lawsuit these practices were temporarily stopped – but complete security can only be achieved by blocking the scripts that can distribute ETag cookies.
The goal of the new (and potentially illegal) ETag technology is to be able to track users even if they delete their cookies. The trick is that the ETag stores information in the user’s cache that re-creates a tracking cookie every session. This way, KISSmetrics can track users against their will even if they choose not to be tracked by deleting their cookies.
A better solution than clearing the browser cache is preventing the scripts from being loaded in the browser. This can be done by adjusting host files, a much simpler solution is adding a privacy filter to Adblock Plus for Google Chrome. Adblock Plus is best known for blocking banners and other advertisements from websites. But it can also be configured to do much more than that – any unwanted element can be blocked from the internet, including tracking and other malicious codes. The elements that are to be blocked are with Adblock Plus are defined by filter rules a user can activate by subscribing to free filter lists that are created and maintained by members of the Adblock Plus community.
Just follow these simple steps in order to disable tracking and protect your privacy:
1) Visit the Chrome Web Store and install Adblock Plus for Chrome:
2) Right-click on the ABP logo and choose Options:
3) Activate the EasyPrivacy filter list:
Paste the URL “https://easylist-downloads.adblockplus.org/easyprivacy.txt” into the field on the bottom of the “Filter lists” tab and click the “Add URL” button.
That’s it. By subscribing to the EasyPrivacy filter list, all tracking codes including ETags will be blocked from being loaded in your Google Chrome browser in order to protect your privacy.
This is a guest post written by Tom, co-editor of chrome-plugins.org, a website featuring reviews of the best extensions, apps and themes for Google Chrome. Visit Chrome Plugins now!