Graphic Design

Trashing Trackers

Jerry Estié
Practice Commercial Practices
Project New Frontiers
Major Graphic Design
Year Fourth Year

Trashing Trackers is a browser extension that distorts and destroys the websites you visit, based on the amount of trackers on each particular website.

This project required a mix of CSS, HTML and JavaScript to work

While cookies have gradually become part of our ‘digital vocabulary’, trackers are still hiding in plain sight. So what are these ‘trackers’? Trackers collect and trade information about your browsing habits. Have you been feeling ill and looking up a certain disease? This could be valuable information for insurance companies. Have you been browsing shops for a new TV for a while? Sold and shared with other retail trackers under your unique user-ID! The more you do online, the more you are worth to tracker companies.

Turning the extension on at a website with only 7 trackers, most functionality is still intact.

I was happy to discover browser extensions like Ghostery and uBlock exposing the amount of trackers on each website. However, after two days of use I have noticed that I was desensitised to the information they were offering: a little circle and square with the amount of trackers is rather simple to ignore. Trackers should be a huge thing; they should make you angry and annoyed, wanting to get rid of them.

Reddit has 16 trackers and is losing usability, but still readable. Cnn has 25 trackers, and has therefore lost most of its functionality and readability.

Enter Trashing Trackers, the extension that constantly confronts and annoys you. When you visit a website, Trashing Trackers looks for the amount of trackers in the background. Based on the amount of trackers, the website can get distorted from a minor grievance to completely unreadable.

A destroyed webmd.com and turning the extension off.

The option to turn off Trashing Trackers is always available. However, when you turn the extension off you are called into action. A closing page tells the user about the amount of trackers that have collected his information and how a distorted website is nothing compared to the real danger of trackers. The page closes with a reference to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organisation that fights for a free and private internet.

A summary with a final call to action

Want to know more about this project or see a live demonstration? Feel free to contact Jerry through hi@jerryestie.com.

Curious about Jerry's other projects? Visit his website.


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