We released a new version of Privacy Badger that updates how we fight “link tracking” across a number of Google products. With this update Privacy Badger removes tracking from links in Google Docs, Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Images results. Privacy Badger now also removes tracking from links added after scrolling through Google Search results.
Link tracking is a creepy surveillance tactic that allows a company to follow you whenever you click on a link to leave its website. As we wrote in our original announcement of Google link tracking protection, Google uses different techniques in different browsers. The techniques also vary across Google products. One common link tracking approach surreptitiously redirects the outgoing request through the tracker’s own servers. There is virtually no benefit 1 for you when this happens. The added complexity mostly just helps Google learn more about your browsing.
It’s been a few years since our original release of Google link tracking protection. Things have changed in the meantime. For example, Google Search now dynamically adds results as you scroll the page (“infinite scroll” has mostly replaced distinct pages of results). Google Hangouts no longer exists! This made it a good time for us to update Privacy Badger’s first party tracking protections.
We’ll get into the technical explanation about how this all works below, but the TL;DR is that this is just one way that Privacy Badger continues to create a less tracking- and tracker-riddled internet experience.