Obfuscation is the technique of attempting to prevent internet tracking by hiding real user actions amongst other fake ones. For example, by disguising real search engine queries within many other false searches. This technique is intended to prevent the trackers from building up an accurate profile of the user, thereby making the user profile data much less useful and less valuable.
Online tracking is not prevented by obfuscation, but it does help to make it more difficult for trackers to find the real user actions amongst the many other fake ones.
However, even amongst the obfuscating data, advertisers are still likely to understand the likely real actions. This is because of similar patterns of behaviour which can be observed over time, which can be easily identified amongst all of the background noise.
- AdNauseam is a browser extension which clicks on every advert in a web page.
- TrackMeNot is a browser extension which creates fake search engine queries in the background of a search engine.
Last updated: 30 October 2017