Browser extension creates 'disposable' data for privacy

Abine's DoNotTrackMe extension is designed to prevent collection of a user's personal data

A Boston-based company, Abine, is beefing its anti-tracking browser extension to let users shield their real credit card details, email addresses and phone numbers during web transactions.

The new features are being added to "DoNotTrackMe," an extension for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari that blocks tracking technologies used by advertising and social networks and data collectors.

The latest capabilities, which were already in Abine's MaskMe password management tool, allow users to give out a one-time use credit card number to e-commerce vendors, along with a disposable email address and phone number.

Data collection is a brisk business these days. Companies sell personal data, share it with ad networks and business partners or transfer it to new companies if they're acquired, said Rob Shavell, Abine's co-founder.

Facebook came under scrutiny last year for its partnership with Datalogix, which collects data on customer purchases from loyalty cards programs and matches it to specific Facebook profiles for targeted advertising.

Giving out disposable data gives users a greater degree of privacy and makes them less traceable across the web, Shavell said.

Email addresses and phone numbers are "widely used and far more relied upon to accurately track individuals because it's their most personal information," he said.

Abine acts as a proxy, receiving an email and then forwarding it to a user's real email address. Users can also turn off the forwarding if they grow weary of frequent communications.

The disposable phone number works in a similar way: Users get a number, and calls are then forwarded to their real number. Unwanted callers can be blocked. Abine supports proxy phone numbers for 20 countries.

With disposable credit-card numbers, consumers face a lower risk of fraud since merchants can't see their real card number, and the disposable number can be deactivated after a purchase, preventing further charges.

The DoNotTrackMe extension is free, but the new features will be sold by subscription at US$5 a month or $45 a year. Through Dec. 26, Abine is letting users try them for free, Shavell said.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags data protectionAbine

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?