Ex-Google Staff Working To Disconnect Surfers From Data Tracking

We're all aware that Google tracks surfing habits in order to target advertising - in the future it might be listening in on your mobile, too. But while Google is the biggest data mining culprit on the web, it's far from the only offender.

However, you don't have to sit back powerlessly and let Google, Facebook as well as others track your surfing. There are a number of solutions that place you under the tracking radar, and here's another one - this time developed by some ex-employees of Google.

Fed up of the track-everything culture, ex-Google engineers Brian Kennish and Austin Chau have spearheaded a new initiative called Disconnect. Techcrunch reports that Disconnect, which allows you to disable data tracking while browsing, now has some 400,000 active users every week.

Disconnect is a browser extension which allows users full control over what they share online with third-party sites and search engines. The company also offers specific extensions targeting Google, Facebook and Twitter (for Firefox, Chrome and Safari).

On the official website, the Disconnect team states: "We think your personal info should be treated with respect, that you should be the steward of your digital self, that you should own your own data."

"But today, you're getting a bum deal. Thousands of companies and organizations are taking, analyzing, and auctioning off things like the history of the web pages you go to and searches you do, without even telling you."

"So we're building a platform to put you back in charge and let you decide who does what with your online data."

A laudable effort indeed, and investors agree, with the venture having raised $600,000 in funding since its official launch late last year.