German software development company Cliqz, owner of the popular privacy browser extension Ghostery, has decided to open source the tool. With Ghostery it’s possible to block advertisements and trackers. On Chrome, it has nearly 3 million users, while there are also 1 million Firefox users with the extension installed.
Cliqz acquired Ghostery a year ago and by open sourcing the extension the companies want to, “demonstrate their commitment to transparency and an open internet.”
By being able to view the source code, users are better able to understand how Ghostery works and what kind of data it collects. Besides that, other developers can now contribute to the software.
“When it comes to putting users in control of their data, privacy and transparency are equally important. Only when individuals clearly understand what data digital products are collecting can they make meaningful decisions about what information they share and with whom,” Jeremy Tillman, Director of Product at Ghostery, writes on a blogblog on the Cliqz website.
According to Cliqz, Ghostery has an active community and many users share anonymized statistics that can be used to detect new trackers. Users can also disable sharing data with Cliqz.
The source code is has been posted on open source hosting platform GitHub and can be viewed here.