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Browser privacy extension Ghostery is moving to Germany

Cliqz, the German developer of the privacy-focused browser of the same name, has acquired the tracker-blocking browser extension Ghostery and its development team from its creator, Evidon.

Partly owned by Mozilla, Cliqz will combine Ghostery's technology with similar functions in its browser, but plans to continue development of the extension for other browsers too, it said Wednesday.

The sale will resolve an apparent conflict of interest for Evidon, which on the one hand provided the Ghostery extension to enhance privacy, and on the other sold aggregate information to businesses regarding which trackers users blocked. It will still obtain that aggregate information from Cliqz, but one step removed.

Sharing of aggregate data and the creation of user accounts are optional features of the extension.

The Ghostery antitracking tool has about 10 million active users worldwide, the companies said. One advantage of the acquisition that Cliqz touted is that it is based in Germany, a country with some of the strictest privacy laws in the world, which it said should provide better privacy protection for any data the company holds about its users.

While Cliqz sets about integrating Ghostery's functions into its browser, it recommends adding the Ghostery extension to the Cliqz browser, or using the Ghostery and Cliqz extensions for Mozilla's Firefox together. Cliqz offers beta versions of its browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. The Ghostery extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera, with some functions available in mobile apps for iOS and Android.

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