Fast Forward is a new (hence experimental, login to Addons.Mozilla.org to install it) FireFox addon that basically lets you see what other web pages people tend to go after they visited the specified one.
The concept is really interesting:
- Instantly find relevant pages, enhance your browsing experience by seeing more related content;
- Research people’s browsing preferences and habits.
It’s like Amazon recommendations for webpages. “People who viewed this page also viewed this next…”
…but for the whole Internet. Or it’s like StumbleUpon button but tightly relevant and targeted. The tool will show you how many people chose which page to go next (the database appears to be not large yet):
What worries me (and not only me) is the privacy issue.
BuzzBox users who enable personalization provide us with information about where they are surfing. We treat this information very carefully and try our best to not record any personal information about our users…
If you are visiting the BuzzBox website (BuzzBox.com), we collect the following information: the full Uniform Resource Locator(“URL”) of the Web page from which you came to BuzzBox.com; your Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, which may include a domain name; the date and time for each page you view; the name of and information about any advertisement that brought you to the BuzzBox website; searches you perform, links you click on; and computer and connection information such as browser type and version, operating system, and platform. We also transmit cookies to your computer so we can track the pages of our website that you view and
the order in which you view them…
we do not have full knowledge of every websites data structures, and it is possible that the URLs we collect through the Toolbar Service sometimes contain personal information about you. For example, when you enter information on a Web page (e.g., when you complete an online registration form or sign up for a contest), the operator of the website may insert that information into its URL for that or the next page.
It remained not completely clear to me if all toolbar users should be concerned or only those who have opted into personalization feature. Anyway, I went ahead and installed the plugin at my experimental FireFox profile. I am guessing they should have included at least one line warning users what “Enable Personalization” feature might result in:
So what do you think of this startup? Is it worth a try?