Media

Disconnect stops websites from tracking you

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Still afraid of evil websites tracking you and stealing your information? Angel investor Dave McClure says Disconnect is the browser extension for you.

Chrome and Safari extension Disconnect, which blocks websites from tracking users and sending private information to other sites, launched today at the Launch conference in San Francisco.

The extension automatically stops pictures, icons and pixels on websites that send information to other sites from loading. Once installed, it adds a button next to the address bar that indicates how many sites have been blocked by the extension. Users can click on the icon to find out what types of sites Disconnect blocked from tracking them.

Icons and pictures that send data to other sites are deleted from the site and replaced by a blue color block. That even includes tiny tracking pixels. Users can click on the color block to allow loading of the tracking images and content instead of having to disable the extension.

But the judges at Launch said the best market for Disconnect was the swath of web browsers that are captured by fear-mongering by some media outlets. McClure said the company should capitalize on the movement to improve privacy settings on large sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to market the service.

“You’ll never go broke underestimating the C-minus students, those searching for answers” said movie star and judge Kevin Pollak. “It used to be, ‘if it bleeds it leads,’ and now it’s all fear based — how do you protect, how do you protect.”

The company is moving toward creating some premium services in order to monetize it, but for now the extension is free. There weren’t any additional details about what kind of premium services might come out. Internet Explorer 9, however, already offers a “do not track” option, and those features are probably coming to other browsers as well.