Updated24 Nov 2013
Downloads243 (1 last week)
Lightbeam for Firefox is a privacy add on for the web browser which takes the various tracking that is part of many web pages today and turns this into a visual map to help users understand the connections between different sites and their tracking they try to perform on both users' activities on the net.
Once installed, the software will actively monitor the web sites visited and all the third party software that is included on web sites with the intention of tracking those users around the web. The software then draws connections and gradually builds up a kind of light beam mosaic of the activities and connections visually for the user to view and understand.
The diagrams help explain how the first party (originator) and the third party trackers are connected via the data they are sharing. The data collection within the Lightbeam add on can then be deleted later in order to start collecting internet movement and first and third party tracker information a-new once again.
The Graph view is the default visual representation of web site visits. Moving on other sites, the Graph view will highlight the linkage between third parties to show where the same third party is resident on both sides and has effectively tracked the user's movements from one site to another. This is then graphically represented.
There is also an option to submit the collected data to the Lightbeam database which is gradually building up a far larger picture of internet tracking and patterns globally rather than just locally for a single user. If the user prefers to keep their own data private, then it is never shared with others and is only stored locally on the single computer.
The download and installation of this Firefox add on is best performed via the official Lightbeam Firefox add on page.
There was no adware, toolbars, spyware or malware installed with the Lightbeam add on.
Lightbeam for Firefox requires Windows OS and Firefox.
The interface is fairly dark and foreboding. It has a few menu options on the left side, the center area is reserved for the graphical representation or list, and the right side is used up with locality and site information.
- Firefox add on to visually represent first and third party trackers that monitor internet usage site to site.
- Graphically see how trackers are connecting a user's internet usage from one site to another who share common trackers on both sites (also can see details in list form too)
- Choose whether to keep these diagrams locally or share with the global Lightbeam database.
- The more sites visited after the add on has been installed, the more connections will be made visually
- Third party trackers are highlighted within the diagram to show their key relationships
- A bit disconcerting to see how users are being tracked online even when they are not logged in anywhere.
Lightbeam for Firefox is an effective privacy add on that can visually show over time how first party and third party trackers follow users around the web by linking their activities.