Privacy Badger

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Privacy Badger
Developer(s)Electronic Frontier Foundation
Initial release1 May 2014; 8 years ago (2014-05-01)[1]
Stable release
2023.1.31 / 31 January 2023; 50 days ago (2023-01-31)[2]
TypeBrowser extension
LicenseGNU GPL v3[3]
As ofJanuary 2020

Privacy Badger is a free and open-source browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Firefox for Android created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Its purpose is to promote a balanced approach to internet privacy between consumers and content providers by blocking advertisements and tracking cookies that do not respect the Do Not Track setting in a user's web browser.[4] A second purpose, served by free distribution, has been to encourage membership in and donation to the EFF.[5]


The EFF states: "If an advertiser seems to be tracking you across multiple websites without your permission, Privacy Badger automatically blocks that advertiser from loading any more content in your browser. To the advertiser, it's like you suddenly disappeared."[6] Privacy Badger works by detecting the presence of content loaded from third-party domains when you visit a website, then blocking those domains which are determined to be tracking you.[7]: B4  Controls on the software allow selective blocking of the third-party domains based on user preference.[7]: B4  While some of its code is based on Adblock Plus, Privacy Badger only blocks those ads which come with embedded trackers.[4]

Privacy Badger has been noted as one recommended tool in a set of tools to protect online privacy.[8]

In October 2020, following security disclosures by the Google Security Team, Privacy Badger changed its default behavior. While it would previously learn to block new trackers heuristically after installed, it now defaults to blocking only trackers it already knows from automated testing before release. While it can still be configured to learn heuristically, it is no longer the default option because it can be exploited by third-parties to fingerprint the user based on trackers it blocks.[9]


The alpha version was released on 1 May 2014,[1] followed by a beta on 21 July 2014.[10] In April 2017, the EFF announced that Privacy Badger had surpassed one million users.[11]


Several publications reported on Privacy Badger in May 2014, following its alpha release.

Ian Paul, for PC World, mentions that Privacy Badger "only blocks third-party tracking, not first party", and mentions that prevention of browser fingerprinting is planned for a future release.[12]

Ars Technica notes that if an advertiser makes a commitment to respect Do Not Track requests, their cookies will be unblocked from Privacy Badger.[13]

Nathan Willis, writing for, describes the green, yellow, and red sliders of the Privacy Badger menu as being a "nice visualization aid", making it easy for the user to toggle the trackers on and off, if desired – describing it as much easier to browse through than ad blocking add-on interfaces.[14]

Kif Leswing writing for Gigaom writes, "Privacy Badger’s blacklist is generated through heuristic blocking, which means it gets better the longer it is used", and wrote in May 2014 that Privacy Badger "breaks a lot of websites", but considers it important as it is created by a nonprofit organization, and sums it up as "more than good enough".[15]

Similar blockers[edit]

Privacy Badger belongs to a class of free tracker blockers which function as web browser plugins.[16]: B1  tracker blockers similar to Privacy Badger include Disconnect, uBlock Origin, Redmorph and Ghostery.[16]: B1 [17][18] Privacy Badger has also been compared favorably to Blur, which has an annual subscription fee.[19]

See also[edit]

  • Blur – An open-source application designed to stop non-consensual third party trackers.
  • HTTPS Everywhere – A free and open-source browser extension developed by The Tor Project and the EFF that automatically makes websites use the more secure HTTPS connection.
  • Switzerland – An open-source network monitoring utility developed by the EFF to monitor network traffic.


  1. ^ a b Tom Cheredar (2 May 2014). "EFF's Privacy Badger tells you when websites ignore 'Do Not Track' settings | Electronic Frontier Foundation". Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  2. ^ "privacybadger/Changelog at master · EFForg/privacybadger · GitHub". GitHub. 13 January 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  3. ^ Privacy Badger license Electronic Frontier Foundation
  4. ^ a b "Privacy Badger FAQ". Privacy Badger. Electronic Frontier Foundation. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  5. ^ Chen, Brian X. (28 May 2017). "Control Those Nosy Apps". Spending Well. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Honolulu, Hawaii. New York Times. p. B7 – via
  6. ^ "Privacy Badger FAQ". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  7. ^ a b Chen, Brian X.; Singer, Natasha (22 February 2016). "Defending against Web snoops". Trending. LNP Always Lancaster. Vol. 221, no. 250. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Steinman Communications. New York Times. pp. B1, B4 – via
  8. ^ Komando, Kim (7 September 2014). "Steps to take to improve your browser privacy". Voices. Argus Leader. Vol. 127, no. 250. Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Gannett. USA Today. p. 10C – via
  9. ^ "Privacy Badger Is Changing to Protect You Better". Privacy Badger. Electronic Frontier Foundation. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Stop sneaky online tracking with EFF's Privacy Badger" (Press release). Electronic Frontier Foundation. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  11. ^ Quintin, Cooper (3 April 2017). "One Million Badgers". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  12. ^ Paul, Ian (2 May 2014). "EFF's new Privacy Badger browser add-on closes the prying eyes of online trackers". PC World. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  13. ^ Brodkin, Jon (2 May 2014). "EFF "Privacy Badger" plugin aimed at forcing websites to stop tracking users". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 8 July 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  14. ^ Willis, Nathan (7 May 2014). "Privacy Badger gives teeth to Do Not Track". Archived from the original on 28 December 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  15. ^ Leswing, Kif (11 May 2014). "Not all ad blockers are the same. Here's why the EFF's Privacy Badger is different". Gigaom. Archived from the original on 28 July 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  16. ^ a b Chen, Brian X.; Singer, Natasha (22 February 2016). "Defending against Web snoops". Trending. LNP Always Lancaster. Vol. 221, no. 250. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Steinman Communications. New York Times. pp. B1, B4 – via
  17. ^ Gelles, Jeff (28 June 2015). "Evading Trackers". Consumer. The Philadelphia Inquirer (City & Suburbs ed.). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Media Network. p. E12 – via
  18. ^ Summers, Timothy (14 October 2017). "Protect your privacy during turbulent times". Opinion. Elko Daily Free Press. Vol. 134, no. 205. Elko, Nevada: Lee Enterprises. p. A4 – via
  19. ^ Liedtke, Michael (17 March 2015). "5 things to do to keep NSA from prying into your email". Innovations. The Oklahoman. Vol. 124, no. 71. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Oklahoma Publishing Co. Associated Press. p. 2C.

External links[edit]