Ghostery, a Firefox Plugin to show "Web Bugs"
You may have tried WASP (http://webanalyticssolutionprofiler.com/) the
Web Analytic Solutions Profiler, a very nice tool for checking your
pages (and others) for Web Analytic tracking codes.
And you may have heard of Ghostery before; it's been bouncing around
Reddit and YCombinator for a few weeks now. Well, it's finally
Read the post, read the commentary by others, and get it at
When you compare them, it becomes clear that WASP is written to help
web analysts, while Ghost is a bit less, well, positive for the
industry. The Ghostery team focuses on "transparency", and say that
they aren't against the bugs, they just want people to know they are
there. Ghostery tracks more ad networks then WASP, for example.
The fellow behind this, David Cancel, is a long time ad-network and
tracking fellow. He was CTO at Compete and Buyerzone and was most
recently running an ad network focused on demographic targeting for
network inventory called Lookery which recently sold to AdKnowledge.
I can't say any of these tools are a bad thing, anymore than I can say
that it's bad that Norton Internet Security keeps complaining about
the "threat" of tracking cookies in my browser.
But I do wonder when the BT, WA, and other data-centric industries
will get together to help consumers focus on the benefits of an opt
out cookie system (things like having your settings stay around on
your favorite sites automatically, etc.) instead of having folks make
tools to "reveal the invisible web tracking your every move" and
causing yet another round of FUD.
Anyway, give both WASP and Ghostery a try, they are both fascinating
Happy new year,