Posted by: Ian Bruk | January 24, 2008

Inspiring Edgeconomy

Reading about Google Health at Techcrunch I came upon this great comment:

Remember that highest bid for ad words is “Mesothelomia”, a rare cancer. Health is a rentable buisness for Google. Now they’ll be able to prevent more fraudulant clicks : Why are you looking for a cure if you do not have a cancer? The same certainly go for aids… Maybe the price of the click will be higher if you’re really sick? “The misfortune of one is the happiness of others”.

“* Share selected information with family or caregivers”
I can’t wait for the next GReader mistake when you’ll unfortunately anounce to your familly, boss and friends that you have aids…

And we should trust a “beta” service ?!

Already sick of it!

Following the link of the person who wrote this I came upon SquiggleSR:

SquiggleSR is a Firefox plug-in which generates personalized queries to search engines to confuse search engines and protect user’s privacy. User favorites RSS flows and search engine statistics are used to create coherent and news related queries.

SquiggleSR is a privacy enforcement add-on for Firefox. More precisely, SquiggleSR protects search engine users’ privacy. Because search engines record all your queries and clicks, they have a lot of information used to establish profiles. Although these profiles are useful to provide personalized services, they clearly represent a threat to your privacy.

So far, most privacy tools anonymize your queries. A brief note of the Electronic Frontier Foundation exposes some tips to enforce your privacy. Another solution is to generate artificial queries to make some noise around your real queries. Supposing that search engines can not distinguish artificial queries, they will establish false profile. Unfortuenately, these tools remove every personalization benefit.

SquiggleSR protects your privacy with minor effects on search personalization. Actually, we let users select about which topic they will generate false queries. Moreover we simulate realistic queries. To do this, the keywords used in our queries are extracted from RSS flows titles. As you will see, this is quite effective and queries are realistic.

Generally, the RSS flows we subscribe to, concern topics that matter for us. So the queries generated are queries that you could have issued. SquiggleSR supports OPML files and so lets you import easily your RSS subscription. Then you can add or remove some subscritpion to simulate artificial interest about particular topics or hide some real interest. A more classical approach uses popular keywords grabed from search engine statistics or tags pages.


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