While doing some browser forensics research, I stumbled upon a Chrome extension named Collusion for Chrome. This extension provides a visual representation of the tracking information shared with third party sites during web browsing . While the notion of browser tracking is hardly surprising these days, Collusion provides some of the most compelling evidence I have seen for the “Do Not Track” movement.
As an example, the image above shows my browser activity during a brief period. I selected a specific node corresponding to Wired.com and you can see the vast number of external connections a visit to Wired spawns. Information about the various contacted sites can be identified using the following key:
- Blue nodes: Sites previously visited by the user
- Gray nodes: Third party sites receiving browser data (never visited by user)
- Red nodes: Known aggregators of tracking information (the slash indicates the site was blocked by Collusion)