TheGoodData wants your browsing data to benefit good causes

Gigaom

A new scheme called TheGoodData launched on Thursday to help people protect their online privacy – or, if they’d rather allow themselves to be tracked, to allow the monetization of the resulting data for the benefit of microloan schemes in developing countries.

The U.K.-based “data cooperative” has produced a Chrome plugin — based on Disconnect’s open-source technology — that acts as a blocker for the myriad advertising and analytics trackers that infest many webpages, stopping the data brokers behind those tools from following the user’s search and browsing history.

If the user gives her permission, then TheGoodData itself acts as a data broker of sorts, albeit one that ensures the anonymization of the user data (including non-sensitive search queries) that it sells to ad vendors. Half the money goes back into the cooperative to develop the service and keep it sustainable, while the other half gets distributed through a peer-to-peer…

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