How Browser Extension AdNauseam Thwarts Google Ads

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As tech corporations proceed to search out methods to find out about each private element of your life — no, Amazon does not want to build you a custom t-shirt out of the goodness of their hearts — some websites and plug-ins are looking for methods to confuse your information overlords.

Over at MIT Technology Review, Lee McGuigan — an assistant professor within the Hussman Faculty of Journalism and Media on the College of North Carolina — highlights one approach to combat again with a browser extension known as AdNauseam.

Because the publication notes:

AdNauseam is like typical ad-blocking software program, however with an additional layer. As a substitute of simply eradicating advertisements when the consumer browses an internet site, it additionally routinely clicks on them. By making it seem as if the consumer is occupied with every little thing, AdNauseam makes it exhausting for observers to assemble a profile of that individual. It’s like jamming radar by flooding it with false alerts.

As properly, AdNauseam is adjustable. You may “select” to belief privacy-respecting advertisers and jam others, or select to routinely click on on some or the entire advertisements on a website.

By obfuscating collected information, all of the consumer monitoring, focusing on and surveillance turn into futile, because the workforce behind the extension suggests.

An experiment carried out by AdNauseam co-creator Helen Nissenbaum and McGuigan “established that AdNauseam does certainly work, more often than not.” And a larger-scale experiment involving use of Google’s AdSense gross sales service additionally proved that Google’s defenses “weren’t delicate to the form of clicking conduct typical of AdNauseam use.”

In different phrases, for now, AdNauseam works … though the writer notes that Google doesn’t enable extensions of this kind of their Chrome Net Retailer and the corporate is certain to search out methods to dam or overcome any challenges put up by a small, free extension that undermines their enterprise.

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