Some people don't like Google
I wouldn't be surprised if a fair number of the tinfoil-hat crowd have switched to Microsoft
To address users' concerns, Google has published a browser add-on that blocks some of its usual data collection. Yep, install a Google-developed piece of software in your Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox browser, and rest assured that Google now has a harder time following your online tracks. Specifically, its Google Analytics data streams get plugged, so webmasters everywhere lose the ability to analyze your browsing patterns on their sites. Google can't read the information, either.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Sure, Google depends on scoring brownie points with the user community, lest it lose market share, but this is a boneheaded move. The few people who really want to keep their browsing habits secret already have many means of doing: third-party browser plugins, anonymizing proxies, or the built-in "private browsing" modes in every modern web reader.
Will you install this data-blocking add-on, or would you rather see Google using collected data to improve its services? Discuss in the comments below. For the record, the data-blocking software will never have a home in my computers.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.