French tech media company Next INpact just launched an interesting project today. Kimetrak is a simple browser extension that lets you see how your favorite website is tracking you and selling your privacy.

The upcoming ePrivacy and GDPR regulations in Europe have been a wake-up call in many ways. Arguably, bitcoin-mining scripts and Spectre JavaScript examples also have made people realize that you’re not in control of what your browser is loading.

Browsing the web feels like writing a blank check every time you load a page. Maybe you just want to read an article. And yet, many big websites embed dozens of third-party JavaScript calls (and unfortunately TechCrunch is one of them).

Ad servers as well as big tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, can track your browsing habits and serve code that hasn’t been reviewed in any way. Those companies can then build comprehensive profiles about you and leverage cookies to read and store personal data.

That’s why many people install ad-blocking extensions or disable JavaScript altogether. Some extensions, such as Ghostery or uBlock Origin, show you a list of all the scripts from third-party domains that got blocked.

But Kimetrak isn’t an ad blocker. The extension wants to educate people about trackers on the web. If you use an ad blocker, you’re obviously not going to see much information. But if you disable your ad blocker and browse some of your favorite websites, you’re going to be astonished with Kimetrak’s information.

And if you’re running a popular website, you can also use Kimetrak to easily review all your third-party JavaScript embeds.

For now, Kimetrak’s data stays on your computer and isn’t shared in any way with Next INpact. It’s an open-source project so you can check for yourself. Eventually, Next INpact wants to build a general-purpose database of trackers and popular websites. Kimetrak is available on the Chrome Web Store.

Featured Image: Michelle Patrick / EyeEm/Getty Images

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