Thanks to a browser add-on, Firefox users can now see how their information is sent to Google severs when they visit a web page. Called Google Alarm, the add-on displays a red warning message in the top-right corner of the browser window while blaring an extremely annoying siren.
"Even outside Gmail and YouTube you are constantly sending information to Google through their vast network of tracking bugs: Google Analytics, Google AdSense, YouTube embeds, API calls.. all of this data [can] be used to monitor & track your personal web browsing habits," said the add-on's developer, Jamie Wilkinson.
When visiting a web page, the add-on will present various data depending on the amount of Google-linked code. After installation, one particular website statistic indicated that (currently) 53 of 71 websites visited (74.6-percent) have used Google tracking tools. Separate notifications indicated that the current hardware website in question was shown to use both Google Analytics and Google AdSense (as seen in the screenshot to the right).
Additional testing with other related websites yielded similar results.
In addition to Analytics and AdSense, the add-on will also reveal if the website is actually hosted by Google or features an embedded YouTube video. For Firefox users who can't deal with the noise, Wilkinson also provides a siren-free version--ideal for a work environment.
Don't use Firefox? Chrome and Safari extensions are also available to install.