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Scan Websites for Annoying Data Trackers With ‘Blacklight’

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Blocking website trackers is easy. Several popular web browsers block ads and trackers by default, and there are plenty of third-party apps and browser add-ons that can fill in the gaps where needed. But have you ever wondered what, exactly, these helpful tools are actually blocking?

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For an easy way to see everything a website tracks even before you visit it, and where that data is shared, we highly recommend checking out TheMarkUp.org’s web-based “Blacklight” tool. (You can also get this information via third-party software, browser blockers, or specially configured browser settings, but you have to first visit a site before they typically analyze it.)

How to use Blacklight

Illustration for article titled Scan Websites for Annoying Data Trackers With Blacklight

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

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Here’s how it works: Open the Blacklight page, and then enter a URL into the “Enter a Website Address” bar and click “Scan Site.”

Here’s what the site does in the background (and anonymously):

Blacklight works by visiting each website with a headless browser, running custom software built by The Markup. This software monitors which scripts on that website are potentially surveilling the user by performing seven different tests, each investigating a specific, known method of surveillance.

After a few moments, the tables will display the results. This includes:

Illustration for article titled Scan Websites for Annoying Data Trackers With Blacklight

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

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  • How many ad trackers a site has
  • How many third-party cookies Blacklight found
  • The presence of trackers that can circumvent cookie blockers
  • Session tracking
  • Keylogging
  • Facebook social tracking
  • Google analytics

Click the arrow next to any of these fields for more information. You can also download an archive of the results and see screenshots of the pages scanned by clicking “Learn more” next to the timestamp.

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Below the scan results, Blacklight also includes a list of known companies the scanned website has shared information with before. Click the arrow next to a company’s name to see more information about their partnership, including specific domains collecting the data. If a website’s privacy policy seems suspect—or if you’re just curious—run it through a Blacklight scan and use the “See Something Worrying” tool at the bottom of the page to report anything shady.

Illustration for article titled Scan Websites for Annoying Data Trackers With Blacklight

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

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That said, don’t rely on Blacklight’s test results alone for vetting a website’s privacy.

A disclaimer at the bottom of the page says, “Blacklight results should not be taken as the final word on potential privacy violations by a given website. Rather, they should be treated as an initial automated inspection that requires further investigation before a definitive claim can be made.”

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Basically, this tool can give you a good look at how a website tracks and shares your data, but it might not catch everything. While the scan results are helpful, and sometimes surprising, it’s best to use Blacklight in conjunction with a privacy-focused browser and other tracker-busting apps to keep your personal data private.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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