Tracking is the collection of data regarding a particular user's or device's activity across multiple websites or applications that aren’t owned by the data collector, and the retention, use or sharing of that data. We will also classify as trackers domains which collect, share, retain, or use data to enable tracking by other services.
Our definition focuses on collection and retention. So, for example, the definition wouldn’t apply to sites that log an IP address, but don’t save that information in a database. The definition also focuses on particular users and devices, so data that is immediately aggregated doesn’t apply. And the collection is across context, so it doesn’t apply in cases when there is solely a first-party relationship with the user, for example the site only collects and retains information on site visitors.
“Trackers” are those services that we’ve identified and determined meet the definition of tracking above.
Disconnect compiles several lists of trackers. The list of trackers that power our browser extensions, Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Edge browsers can be found here, along with a change log and notes. Example changes to this tracker list can be seen below. Please submit feedback here.
Disconnect strives to find the balance between privacy, security, usability and promoting a better Internet for everyone. These concerns drive our decisions in regards to trackers we block and don’t block. We do not accept payment for unblocking trackers.
Although we support sites that commit to respect users’ Do Not Track (DNT) preferences and agree to comply with DNT as defined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (https://www.eff.org/dnt-policy) such compliance is not grounds for unblocking at this time due to disparities and technical inability to persist DNT headers across browsers and products.
We generally unblock tracking sites that require users to transparently and explicitly opt in to collection and retention.
We also unblock trackers to provide a better user experience, based on the three types of evidence listed below. These unblocked trackers will appear in what we call the Content portion of our list. For some of our products and services, users can choose to block this portion of the list as well.
Advertising: A tracker which also displays ads or marketing offers. These types of ads can track your personal information and expose you to malware, even if you don’t interact with them.
Analytics: A tracker which collects your information and may build a profile based on your online activity that can be connected with your real name or other unique identifier.
Cryptomining: A domain may be classified as cryptomining if it can cause the user's browser to mine cryptocurrencies without explicit user opt-in.
Email: A tracker which commonly appears in emails. In addition to the main Email category, we will maintain a sub-category called Email Aggressive. This sub-category includes additional email tracker domains which serve images or links that when blocked may alter expected functionality. Determinations about whether a domain is moved to the Email Aggressive category seek to balance usability with privacy harm and will be based on error reporting, internal testing, and user experiments as described in the Content portion of our list above.
Fingerprinting: A tracker may be classified as a fingerprinter if it identifies particular users or devices based on the properties of the browser, device, network, or any other properties of the computing environment, without using client-side storage of cookies or other data.
We differentiate between two sub-categories of fingerprinters:
Session replay: A tracker which records all actions a user takes on a webpage in order to recreate the user's session may be classified as a replay script.
Social: A tracker may be classified as social if it uses tracking techniques that allow a social networking service to track your web browsing activities even when you are not on the social network’s website or app.
Our tracker protection lists are dynamic and we welcome and rely on feedback from our community. If you believe that we’ve missed a tracker, or misidentified a tracker please fill out the form below. Please note, classifications are based on technical analysis and review of publicly available and legally binding policies and statements.