Google, a company once praised for its efforts to maintain internet freedom and online anonymity, has come under scrutiny for collecting information about its users to increase profit and advertising effectiveness.
In response to Google’s intrusive practices, former Google engineers and other industry names joined forces last October to create Facebook Disconnect, a Chrome extension that stops third party sites from accessing Facebook. Now, the team at disconnect.me is launching Google Disconnect from Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
Working in a similar way to Facebook Disconnect, Google Disconnect stops third party sites from accessing personal user information from servers.
“You’re getting a bum deal. Thousands of companies and organizations are taking, analyzing and auctioning off things like the history of the webpages you go to and searches you do, without even telling you. So we’re building a platform to put you back in charge and let you decide who does what with your online data,” the company says on its website.
The company, only six months old, has already raised $600,000 in funding — mainly from venture capital firm Highland Capital. It is now hoping to grow its software development to block even more third party sites form accessing private users’ information.
According to disconnect.me, more than 400,000 people use Disconnect products every week. With new investments coming in from venture capital firms, Google and Facebook may soon be dealing with a base of users who are taking stronger ownership of their personal information.