A new tool by The Markup lets you drop in a URL to see exactly what kinds of trackers, cookies, and ad-tech tracking are found within the site.
Nearly all websites have some form of tracking that collect your information when you visit it and may even follow you around as you jump from site to site. Some tracking is practical — it’s necessary, for example, to track who you are in order to keep you signed into a site after you’ve left it.
The problem is that most websites also allow other companies to track their visitors. They let analytics, marketing, advertising, and social media companies embed tracking code on sites, slowing your browsing down while continuing to erode your privacy.
The Markup’s new Blacklight tool specifically details what kinds of trackers are found on different sites. Just enter a site address and it’ll show you what trackers, cookies, and ad-tech companies are found. Here’s an example, using Forbes.
As you can see, just visiting the home page of Forbes exposes you to dozens of trackers and cookies, even ones that try to evade blockers.
The Blacklight tool also offers additional context, letting you know whether the amount of trackers and cookies are average compared to other sites and identifying the companies tracking you.
If you’re not familiar with cookies or website tracking, we encourage you to play around with the Blacklight tool. Enter in the sites you visit most frequently to learn how you’re being tracked every time you open up your browser.
To use and learn more about the Blacklight tool, check it out here.