12 October 2010

Introducing Incognito

We just released a Safari extension that protects your online privacy. It's called Incognito and it blocks companies like e.g. Google and Facebook from gathering information about you (or your browsing habits) outside the context of their own websites. The plugin started as a personal project by Albert Jorissen, one of our engineers. He was concerned about the fact that some large companies have access to a staggering amount of information about his online life. Have a look at the Incognito page for more information on this free Safari extension.

20 comments:

Ashley said...

I am interested in using this extension in Safari but so far I have hesitated for one simple reason. The question that many will be asking is just how this works?

Without wishing to sound paranoid how do we know with incognito that we aren't stopping Google but possibly making all our surfing information available elsewhere ie. orbicule or somebody else?

When you try to install the extension you immediately see a slightly scary warning that includes the text:

"Install extensions only from sources you trust. Extensions can modify the appearance and behavior of Safari, and access your private information at websites."

Some kind of clear indication of how the extension works and what it does would probably go a long way to reassuring users that it is a safe move.

Peter Schols said...

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for your interest in Incognito.

You can always look at the source of any Safari extension by following the instructions at: http://www.macosxtips.co.uk/index_files/extract-code-from-safari-extensions.html

It's a good suggestion to document how the extension works, we will add this to the Incognito page.

Thanks!

Peter

Anonymous said...

I've installed icognito, only to discover that it removes images that are intended to display in a web gallery called Highslide Gallery. Highslide Gallery is a dynamic html system for displaying images, and one that I've used to create several galleries. If you want to see the effect of icognito on such a gallery, go to http://www.wmdubin.com/galleries/nightscenes/ then click on a thumbnail. A window pops up, but the image is removed, leaving only the caption if icognito is enabled. With incognito disabled, the image displays in the window as it should. I have not tested incognito in other systems, such as Cooliris, Lightbox, etc.

Peter Schols said...

You should disable the Google API block in the Incognito prefs (it's disabled by default). This preference mentions that it may break some websites.

Anonymous said...

It was disabled. I never enabled it from the default, so this is obviously not the solution.

Peter Schols said...

The gallery you mention works just fine here with Google API block disabled. It does not work with Google API block enabled.

Anonymous said...

I've tried this Safari extension (incognito) with every variation of its preferences, e.g. Google API enabled, disabled, Google analytics disabled, enabled, etc. I've tried it with every other Safari extension disabled. The Highslide Gallery system does not display properly with icognito enabled. That it works for you is puzzling, but certainly not definitive. For me, under all circumstances, enabling incognito removes the image from the image popup, leaving only the caption. It also moves the row of thumbnails at the bottom of the screen, while Highslide is active, to the right rather than centered. Only if I disable incognito altogether does Highslide Gallery perform as expected.

Peter Schols said...

I'm sorry, it seemed like it was working right, but after clicking a couple of thumbnails the full-size images no longer show up indeed. We will look into this.

Anonymous said...

It appears to require a refresh to show the behavior.

Peter Schols said...

That's correct, when enabling a Safari extension (not only Incognito), one has to reload the page for the changes to take effect.

Peter Schols said...

We looked into this an apparently the Highslide script uses Google Analytics. Disabling the Google Analytics block should do the trick.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if we can see a "before & after" comparison. Better yet, set up (or refer us to) a page that we can try for ourselves what Incognito can do. Otherwise, I'm not so sure if it's really working. Thanks!

Peter Schols said...

In most cases, the effect of Incognito is not visible in the browser window. It's no ad blocker that has a direct effect on the page's content. It simply blocks scripts that mostly run behind the scenes, hidden to the end user.

allan.nyholm said...

Safari told that there was an update to Incognito. clicking the install button within Safari wouldn't take so I went to this website and got it from here.

I'm a little curious to hear what "B kontakte" is? Is it an incomplete word and are there more to come? the word "kontakte" seems like it needs a translation to "contacts" but what is the B for?

Peter Schols said...

Hi Allan,

I will look into the update issue.
B kontakte is a Russian Facebook clone that Incognito can now also block.

Best wishes,

Peter
Orbicule

ahmet bayraktar said...

It appears to require a refresh to show the behavior.

Anonymous said...

How can I install Incognito? After downloading I click Open and Install. But nothing happens. Could you please help?

Peter Schols said...

Please Choose Preferences from the Safari menu and select the Extensions tab. You should see Incognito listed there.

Anonymous said...

Now I found it. Thanks a lot for this great stuff!!!

Alex McNeill said...

I might check this out, thanks! :)