Firefox creates "TRACK THIS", a way to trick advertisers by poisoning your surf data.

It's not an original idea, the best way to hide your data is to create more data, thus creating a campaign of misinformation about you. Noiszy is a Chrome plugin from 2017 that does the same thing. Now Firefox has created "Track This", a site where you can choose to become an influencer, filthy rich, a hypebeast and so on. Take your pick, click the button and a 100 tabs will start surfing the web in the background diluting your data by adding more data. That way, advertisers don't know, by your data, how to target you with the stuff that you might actually want.

Frankly that seems like a bit of a self-own to me. As much as I hate being stalked by ads on the web, I do like when the ads are relevant to my interests. This will make sure that never happens, pretty much.

Daniel Greenberg, director of strategy and distribution for mschf who helped Firefox create this site, tells Vice

“In my personal experience, I opened up the influencer one, and within the next seven days, I was getting ads for stuff that had nothing to do with me whatsoever,” Greenberg said. “I was getting ads for women’s clothing, I was getting ads for makeup, I was getting ads for skincare—all these things I’ve never looked at.”

Perhaps some readers of websites feel that they can protect their own privacy a little, and still allow the ad-supported websites to earn income on advertising. But let's be frank here, ads that aren't clicked on don't give much revenue at all. 

This also make me wonder what websites are being opened in those data-poisioning tours of the internet running in the background with various plugins and sites like Track this. Have these websites, who are now serving articles to basic bots instead of actual readers, agreed to do this? Junk hits are a problem for web sites, who now have faulty data of their visitors and how many they actually are. And in the internet ads arm race, services are popping up to prevent bad bot traffic, such as cloudflare's bot management service. These junk data generators are in a persons own browser, and act perhaps a little more human in order to not slow down a users computer too much, but it's still bot traffic. A great way for some unknown sites to boost their traffic and climb higher in Alexa, Quantcast, and perhaps even Google Page rankings. Can we buy into be on the Influencers list of sites to visit? It wouldn't surprise me if at least some of these junk data plugins are possibly funded that way. 

AnonymousCoward's picture
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kidsleepy's picture

What are the chances malware will be clicked on as well?

Dabitch's picture

Ha!

Well, that's my point. They have to have vetted these sites that they are opening in the background, so they are presumably malware free clean websites, but then how does a website get on that list? People sell traffic like this, you know.

Sport's picture

This is such an old idea.

Dabitch's picture

HOW DID I FORGET ABOUT AD NASEUM?

I wrote an article about it here, they click every damn ad for you, so your data is utterly useless. It's like the fat man of ad blocking.

https://adland.tv/adnews/adnauseam-clicking-ads-so-you-dont-have-2016

Install it! https://adnauseam.io/

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