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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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Adblock Plus Expands Anti-Tracking Privacy Tool

Adblock Plus, the #1 most popular browser extension for blocking annoying online advertisements, today announced that it has doubled the number of tracking filters in its EasyPrivacy block list in order to expand its usefulness as a do-not-track privacy tool.

Adblock Plus is known primarily as an ad-blocking tool, built upon a series of open-source, volunteer-maintained filter lists which must constantly evolve to respond to new ad formats and delivery methods. One of the filter lists that Adblock Plus offers is called EasyPrivacy, which blocks tracking resources such as cookies, scripts and tracking pixels. Tracking resources are hidden on websites and run mainly in the background in order to create unique profiles for users, which are often sold to advertising or targeting companies. For example, EasyPrivacy blocks 13 elements on nytimes.com. EasyPrivacy allows users who do not want to be followed around the web to block these tracking attempts.

Stanford University, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security all recommend Adblock Plus as a potent anti-tracking privacy tool.

At the start of 2013, Adblock Plus’ EasyPrivacy list contained slightly more than 4,200 filters on its block list; by the beginning of 2014 the filter list had grown to almost 8,600 filters – approximately doubling. And the number of tracking filters in EasyPrivacy has continued to expand at a rate of more than 3 percent for the first two months of the year.

“We want users to have control over their browsing experience, and activating our EasyPrivacy list is a great way for them to take their privacy back in their own hands,” said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. “While tracking can sometimes be beneficial, users should be able to turn it off and our EasyPrivacy tool is designed to help them do so. Our recent filter updates make Adblock Plus one of the most secure and robust anti-tracking tools available.”

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About Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 250 million times. It has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension almost continuously since November 2006. In 2013 PC Magazine listed the extension as one of the best free Google Chrome extensions, and it received a 2013 About.com readers’ choice award for best privacy/security add-on.

Follow AdBlock Plus on Twitter at @AdBlockPlus and read our blogs at http://adblockplus.org/blog/. For more information, please visit https://eyeo.com/en/press.

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