Thanks to a series of articles in the WSJ, publishers around the country are taking a hard look at their privacy practices and trying to get a handle on who collects data on their site. You would think this would be a simple task, after all, the publisher owns the site and controls everything on it, right?
Thankfully, the people at Better Advertising have developed a rather brilliant browser extension called Ghostery to make pixel tracking more transparent. Ghostery runs on your browser and sifts through all the code and ad calls to quickly identify which 3rd parties are tracking data on your site. This particular example is from Dictionary.com – as you can see, the tool quickly pulls up a list of the various companies with pixels running on the site or somehow spawning to the browser.
Ghostery was actually developed more for Consumers to give them a way to see who is tracking their behavior online and actually block it, but I see huge potential for industry folks as well to audit their site. Do you know what is running on your site?
P.S. – the Ghostery Blog isn’t half bad, either…