Cookies and Third-Party Tracking
Using a free and open source tool called Mozilla Lightbeam, you can help visually show learners how cookies and third-party trackers are monitoring them as they perform their own everyday tasks on the web. Help learners manage and protect their data trail by having them race to see who can gather the most trackers on their team's Lightbeam graph.
45 mins to 1 hour
Use Lightbeam to Track the Trackers
Lightbeam is a free+open source Firefox add-on that uses interactive visualizations to show you the first and third party sites you interact with on the Web. As you browse, Lightbeam reveals the full depth of the Web today, including parts that are not transparent to the average user.
Have learners install LightbeamAsk Learners:
- Is all tracking bad?
- Can you think of an instance when you're ok with sharing your data?
- What kind of organizations might track you across the Web?
See Who's Tracking You
Ask learners to visit 5 of their favorite websites.
Lightbeam will create a record of events for every site you visit and every third party site that is stored locally on your browser.
Have learners show Lightbeam by clicking the icon in the Add-On bar. Explain that Lightbeam visually graphs their movement across the web to highlight the interactions between sites you intentionally visit and the third parties.
Lightbeam will continue to add to your graph as you browse the Web. Have learners observe how many connections they've created.
Form groups and have each groups use one computer. Instruct the groups to reset the data on their Lightbeam results.
Set a timer for 5 minutes, and have groups race to see who can get the most trackers on their Lightbeam graph. They'll need to browse to as many sites as possible to win!
Let the winning group give an "Award Acceptance Speech".