The Privacy Foundation, a nonprofit consumer education group, yesterday released its free software called Bugnosis, which detects Web bugs when they appear on Web pages and informs users they are being tracked.
Web bugs are graphics embedded in Web pages or in e-mail messages to track site visitors or readers of e-mail.
The Bugnosis software, which is an add-on for Internet Explorer, was designed to notify users each time a Web bug is present. It is downloadable from www.bugnosis.org.
When the software finds Web bugs, they appear as blinking bugs on the screen.
Users can choose from nine different GIF images on the Bugnosis Web site or can provide their own images for bug detection.
According to the Privacy Foundation, the next version of the software will detect Web bugs in e-mail messages as well.
Although the software detects Web bugs, it does not block them.