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Summary:

Disconnect, a site that claims to block ad tracking tools while also improving browsing speed, received a major investment and “B Corporation” certification.

privacy / spying / eye in computer
photo: Shutterstock / vlad_star

Disconnect, a site run by an ex-Googler, has received an additional $3.5 million to help people block companies from tracking the sites they visit as they browse the internet.

In April, GigaOm described major updates to Disconnect that sought to provide faster browsing experience and an easy visualization of the websites that it blocks. If you haven’t seen it before, here’s how Disconnect looks in action:

The Disconnect icon sits in the top right of the browser shows how many sites want to track you for advertising, social or other purposes:

Disconnect screen shot

If you click on the icon, it provides more detailed lists of which websites want your information:

Disconnect screenshot 2

When we spoke in April, former Google engineer Brian Kennish, who is one of Disconnect’s founders along with consumer rights attorney, Casey Oppenheim, explained that the company has a three-fold goal: privacy, speed and “don’t break the internet” — ie the tool is supposed to let you use the web just like you always do.

In addition to the new funding, which cames as a Series A led by FirstMark Capital, Disconnect also received “B Corporation” status which amounts to a certification mark for companies like Ben & Jerry’s and Etsy that want to formalize public service as part of their corporate missions.

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  1. Mr Zarniwoop Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    This functionality is also being provided by Ghostery. They have plugins for both Chrome and Firefox, which can block all varieties of tracking cookies and widgets.

    Apart from that anyone who cares about privacy shouldn’t be using Chrome in the first place. Iron from SRWare, however, is a great alternative. It’s Google Chrome, but with the spyware code removed.

    1. A. Ghostery sells users’ data without telling them: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/516156/a-popular-ad-blocker-also-helps-the-ad-industry/

      B. Savvy users consider Disconnect to be the best anti-tracking app: http://lifehacker.com/this-is-why-i-switched-to-disconnect-are-they-also-ran-514527401

      C. Disconnect is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

      FYI, I work on Disconnect.

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