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This Browser Plug-In Gives You More Privacy Control Against Web Tracking

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"...will change how people use the web."

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

A new product that could give you more control of your privacy settings across a variety of websites is beginning its beta test.

The Google Chrome plug-in Privacyfix allows you to manage privacy settings for a multitude of websites that track your movements online, including Facebook and Google. Privacyfix works by alerting you to potential privacy "risks" before you start dishing out personal data, according to the write-up about the plug-in on Google Chrome's store.

As TechHive explains it, Privacyfix is a browser extension that informs you of the type of data that is being collected about you as you browse the Web. It also lets you know how much sites like Google and Facebook are making off your searches and ads.

"Privacyfix is a treat for Chrome users that's fun to use, easy on the eyes, and gives you a measure of control over your data on the Net," John Mello for TechHive writes of the plug-in.

In addition to letting you see and manage privacy settings for Facebook and Google with the extension, here are a few other features Privacyfix lets users do:

  • Control how your Google search history is retained.
  • See where Facebook is tracking you on other sites, and block Facebook buttons and widgets.
  • See which Facebook apps have bad privacy policies, and easily request removal of profile data you have shared.
  • See privacy ratings for the sites you have visited.
  • Easily request removal of personal data from sites that may share your personal data.
  • See which companies are tracking you in your browser.
  • Send the Do Not Track signal with all web requests.
  • See notices of any recent data breaches or privacy policy changes.

Watch this promo video about the extension:

With the beta test of this product just launching, lead developer Jim Brock wrote that "positive feedback and the viral uptake have been astonishing." Here are a few user comments about the extension on the Google Chrome store:

  • "Awesome. I thought I had my facebook settings configured optimally, but I was naive." -- Jim Patterson
  • "One of the best tools I have tried. Incredibly informative - will change how people use the web." -- Judith Wellner
  • "Iwas easily able to hide everything, remove myself from search engines, remove myself from mailing lists, REMOVE MYSELF FROM ADVERTISING!!!!!! Now Everytime I 'like' something, it's not an endorsement." -- Cody Marker

Some expressed difficulty installing Privacyfix and, as TechHive puts it, "it does take a little more effort to set up than a typical Chrome add-on."

Google Chrome store notes that if you download the extension, you may see a warning that it has access to your browser history and cookies, but it assures you this information is not transmitted outside your browser.

"We don't collect any data from your use of Privacyfix, unless you choose to send it to us. We don't store IP addresses and we cannot and do not see or save your web browsing," the Privacyfix website states.

Read more details or add on the PrivacyFix plug-in here.

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