Big Tech Detective is a browser extension that lets you track and avoid tech giants as you browse the web.

While you may have the willpower to avoid scrolling through your Facebook feed or the privilege to avoid shopping on Amazon, chances are, you’re still relying on the digital infrastructure that these tech giants provide — even when you aren’t on those sites directly. This may happen when you stream your new favorite tv show and the website is hosted by Amazon Web Services, or when you look up the menu at your favorite restaurant and they have a Instagram widget to cross-post content from their profile page. This data flow also explains why you might see an ad for shoes you like when you read an article on a news site; Google and other companies have been collecting information on your browsing habits to serve you targeted ads tailored to your specific tastes based on your data profile.

The kind of data being sent back and forth to these companies ranges from the most mundane to the alarmingly personal — and Big Tech has monopolistic control over how this data is used to surveil and monetize your internet activity.

This tool educates users about how data flows to and from the largest tech companies to show how integral those companies are to the everyday experience of the internet, and highlights the pervasive scale and reach these companies have over all digital lives. If you can’t browse the internet without these companies, what does that say about their monopoly power?

Big Tech Detective was made by

Photograph of Alden Rivendale Jones Alden Rivendale Jones

Photograph of Dhruv Mehrotra Dhruv Mehrotra

Photograph of Emily Lin Emily Lin

together with

Photograph of Cara Rose Defabio Cara Rose Defabio

Photograph of Becky Chao Becky Chao

from the Anti-Monopoly Fund at the Economic Security Project .

The Big Tech Detective website was made by Alden using Hugo .