You remember Facebook Disconnect, the browser extension that allowed you to remove Facebook Connect functionality from websites? After 50K active users in two weeks and hitting the top 10 Google Chrome extensions, creator Brian Kennish has left his job at Google to focus on building Disconnect, a browser extension for Chrome and Rockmelt that disables multiple third party data tracking while browsing. In the same vein as Facebook Disconnect, Disconnect prevents major third parties like Digg, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yahoo from gathering information (cookies) about the pages you go to and the searches you do.
“I called it quits at Google three weeks ago so I could help web users better understand the data they’re unintentionally sharing and develop tools that make it simple for them to control this data (I’ve been referring to this effort as Web 2.1, a privacy patch for the web).”
As people get more and more paranoid about the usage of their search and browsing data, we will begin to see more and more “Web 2.1” offerings like Disconnect. Disconnect is easier to use than conventional ad blockers and does not impair web functionality, i.e. you can still access services like Gmail while your searches remain anonymous. Disconnect also conveniently allows you to see blocked requests as well easily unblock services from your browser toolbar.
Kennish has a Disconnect for Firefox and Safari in the works. In the meantime you can take the Chrome and Rockmelt versions for a spin here.