AdNauseam

AdNauseam is a free browser extension that tries to trick advertising networks by messing with your browsing data. AdNauseam works locally, and itself doesn’t send the data out to any other services. It comes with 3 opt-in features which includes hide ads, clock ads and block malware.

What it basically does is to randomly click on ads on behalf of it’s users creating a some what balanced mix of browsing history that leads advertising trackers astray. This is known as a strategy of obfuscation. This process reduces the value of the aggregated data from the user. The second order effects include polluting the data collected as whole by these services. Imagine even if 1% of users use such a service, it can have profound effects on search results and targeted ads. They could effectively end up showing irrelevant ads to its users leading to a lower conversion rate.

In a way, this directly attacks the incentive in the whole advertising business. The reason why a company would use social companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to run their ads is because of 2 reasons. Firstly, users spent a lot of time on these platforms and secondly, these platforms have an understanding on what each user is interested in. But if software’s like this reduce the value of those platforms, it will force companies to question such platforms. AdNauseam is a start to a new era of privacy focused applications.

Related

Privacy as a Service

AdNauseam – White Paper

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