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TrackMeNot – Firefox extension to protect against data-profiling

May 25th, 2007

TrackMeNot is a lightweight browser extension that protects web-searchers against surveillance and data-profiling. It does so not by means of concealment or encryption (i.e. covering one´s tracks), but instead, paradoxically, by the opposite strategy: noise and obfuscation.

With TrackMeNot, actual web searches, lost in a cloud of false leads, are essentially hidden in plain view. User-installed TrackMeNot works with the Firefox Browser and popular search engines, e.g. AOL, Yahoo!, Google, and MSN, and requires no 3rd-party servers or services.

TrackMeNot runs in Firefox as a low-priority background process that periodically issues randomized search-queries to popular search engines, e.g., AOL, Yahoo!, Google, and MSN. It hides users´ actual search trails in a cloud of ´ghost´ queries, significantly increasing the difficulty of aggregating such data into accurate or identifying user profiles. TrackMeNot integrates into the Firefox ´Tools´ menu and includes a variety of user-configurable options.

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