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Mon Feb 20, 2012, 08:59 PM

Operation "Screw Up Google's Data Mining" [View all]

There is one reason Google (and other internet search engines) record our seach history. They use the information to create consumer profiles that can be sold for lots of hard cash to advertisers and others who want to target their online ads. Say you regularly visit a site with pop-ups. Why should P&G pay to have you listen to an ad for a tampon when you are a guy who will never use a tampon? Maybe that time could be better spent advertising Trojans.

Say you do a search for erectle dysfunction. That is the cue for Cialis and Viagra to start targetting you with direct to consumer ads. All they have to do is pay someone (like Google) to tell them which Americans are concerned about "erectile dysfunction."

Now, if you value your privacy, but you do not feel like logging on anonymously at the public library every time you need to do a web search, there is hope. I call it "Operation Fuck Up Google's Data Mining." It is very, very simple.

First, pick a book. A dictionary is best. It does not have to be an English dictionary. It could be some other type of book, as long as it is a book about something that you do not really give a damn about. So, for example, you could pick up one of your grandmother's gardening books. Pick a page at random and then find a random word. Search the random word. Do a few related searches. Bookmark one of the sites under your favorites. Every time you log on after that, be sure to open that "favorite" page. Say the word you chose was "hydrangeas." Soon, Google will become convinced that you are a gardener with a passion for hydrangeas. You will start getting targetted advertising from nurseries. You will laugh to know that Calloways is wating its money.

Do this often enough, and the "data" that Google "mines" will become so worthless, that no one will pay for it. Better yet, write software that will do random searches and create randon profiles for anyone. Suddenly, the mayor is deeply interested in suitcase bombs while the local crack dealer is a committed Tea Party member. Even the U.S. government will not be able to spy on you. Give said software away for free. Call it "Privacy Protection."

Ok everyone. You know what to do. Get out the phone book or the cookbook or the dictionay and get to work creating your fake profile. Drive the folks at Google insane trying to figure out what kind of person loves combustion engines and Hello Kitty and the Killing Fields of Cambodia and treatment for hoof and mouth disease.

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Operation "Screw Up Google's Data Mining" [View all]
McCamy Taylor Feb 2012 OP
McCamy Taylor Feb 2012 #1
McCamy Taylor Feb 2012 #2
The Doctor. Feb 2012 #3
McCamy Taylor Feb 2012 #5
jeff47 Feb 2012 #10
McCamy Taylor Feb 2012 #15
jeff47 Feb 2012 #16
Mnemosyne Feb 2012 #17
jeff47 Feb 2012 #22
Mnemosyne Feb 2012 #30
Mojorabbit Feb 2012 #28
The Doctor. Feb 2012 #11
Kellerfeller Feb 2012 #29
KurtNYC Feb 2012 #31
The Doctor. Feb 2012 #4
jsmirman Feb 2012 #6
McCamy Taylor Feb 2012 #7
jsmirman Feb 2012 #12
Zalatix Feb 2012 #20
jsmirman Feb 2012 #24
Zalatix Feb 2012 #25
jsmirman Feb 2012 #26
jeff47 Feb 2012 #8
DCKit Feb 2012 #9
Mnemosyne Feb 2012 #18
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2012 #13
customerserviceguy Feb 2012 #14
Zalatix Feb 2012 #19
PowerToThePeople Feb 2012 #21
davidthegnome Feb 2012 #23
DCKit Feb 2012 #27