Obscure Digital Tracks with Data Noise

Beginner TinkererImproving ApprenticeCompetent ConjurerBurgeoning Spell MakerWizard-Like Alchemy (No Ratings Yet)

Relying on systems of blocking, filtering seem untenable against the pervasive nature of online tracking- be it browser fingerprinting, cross-site tracking (beyond cookies), and the invisible reach of Facebook tracking even if you lack an account.

Rather than a shield of protection / blocking approach, what about obfuscation– the act of creating a cloud of meaningless noise around your online activity that might mask it?

Examples to explore might include:

  • AdNauseum. “AdNauseam is a free browser extension designed to obfuscate browsing data and protect users from tracking by advertising networks. At the same time, AdNauseam serves as a means of amplifying users’ discontent with advertising networks that disregard privacy and facilitate bulk surveillance agendas.”
  • Noiszy is another user tool that has a similar aim as Adnasuem- send meaningless information to data trackers.
  • A more experimental tool, aimed more at signalling protest is Make Noise
  • TrackMeNot – “is a lightweight browser extension that helps protect web searchers from surveillance and data-profiling by search engines. It does so not by means of concealment or encryption (i.e. covering one’s tracks), but instead by the opposite strategy: noise and obfuscation. With TrackMeNot, actual web searches, lost in a cloud of false leads, are essentially hidden in plain view. User-installed TrackMeNot works with Firefox and Chrome browsers, integrates with all popular search engines, and requires no 3rd-party servers or services.”

The questions I have include- are these really viable or are they a gimmick? How would I know? Or are they more a form of protest against the pervasive tracking? Would using them adversely affect my internet experience (altering search results? changing my data reputation).

And are these trusty worthy too? Are Tony’s concerns off base?

I’m curious to hear what ideas people might have about covering your tracks with fake data. It sounds kind of appealing to me.


Shared by: Vulpes Internetus (mentor of Alan Levine)
Image Credit: Public Domain Pictures

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  1. Dalia Mahfouz El Adl

    I would try anything to get rid of the obnoxious advertisements. but I still think it is risky to trust them.

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