Hiding Your Search Tracks

10 comments

Get lost in the Google crowd (and others) to hide your search tracks:

http://lostinthecrowd.org/

Anyone checked this tool/service extensively yet?

Comments

hope their random queries are safe

Giving it a shot - hope there are no "hot words" in their random queries - the first "craft supplies" seemed pretty safe. I just hope the next one isn't geeeeeehad or something:)

Here's another cool one

Ancient Web Rule #1: If it's there once, your'e likely to find it twice. Or an alternative.

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.

http://mrl.nyu.edu/~dhowe/TrackMeNot/

(Firefox browsers only.)

This one even allows you to edit the random inquiry list - so you can put in "geeeeeehad" yourself. :)

More good coverage...

Decent post today on the above and other search privacy options. The "do you really want people to know your secret love of fairies?" bit almost made me lose it :)

Google nightmare

That TrackMeNot thing is a search engine's nightmare. Automagically increase the user's number of searches by a factor of X, through meaningless background queries.

Is that really the answer? Abuse the user trust to the point where the user orchestrates widespread wholesale abuse of your search engine? Really now. That simply can't be healthy for anyone involved.

FoxyProxy

Adding in fake queries isn't particularly strong obfuscation. If you really want/need privacy, follow the EFF's advice: (1) don't login and (2) use an anonyomizing proxy like FoxyProxy with Tor -- both easy enough to install and use.

Warning:These Sites Are All Owned By The Knights Templar

Personally, if I were really worried about protecting my privacy, these sorts of sites are about the last place I would go. If you are paranoid enough to worry about your personal search data being looked at, what makes you think sites like these aren't CIA or FBI fronts, set up just to get the people with something to hide to identify themselves? Wouldn't it be a great opportunity for the investigative agencies to get a subset of all searchers, specifically self-selected because they think they have something to hide?

Paranoia can destroy ya. Folks need to lighten up a little, quit worrying that Big Brother really cares about their searches for women without shirts, and live their lives. I have no real privacy, but then, neither did my grandparents, living as they did in small towns where every petty detail of their daily lives was open to community inspection.

While I think it is healthy to agitate against more overbearing government intrusion into what little privacy we have left, sites like these are not the solution.

Good topic

I'd like to thank Fantomaster for bringing the topic up. I had been wondering about this myself after the AOL thing. I think this subject and demand for search annoymizers will grow over the coming years as the search engines continue to collect data and governments, hackers and others become more inclined to get their hands on it. It's a growth topic IMO.

GoogleAnon

I have no connection with this site, but I use GoogleAnon

I take this from their site

Quote:
How good is the privacy or anonymity afforded by this GoogleAnon Bookmarklet?

Pretty good, only. It'll remove the GUID from cookie, and therefore from any information Google collects as you interact with it. For many people that will be enough to completely avoid the possibility of Google building up a cohesive profile about 'them'. But if you use the Google Toolbar or Deskbar or My Search History or any of their Account services, you may be allowing the possibility of a more cohesive profile. And your IP address, especially a permanent one, can be personally identifying under some circumstances. If you really want to be anonymous, you'll need to work much harder.

I've tried out the Lost in

I've tried out the Lost in teh crowd thing and it doesn't seem to work. In two days, the thing has sent out only two terms on my behalf. Unless you keep visiting the thing it won't send out another term.

If you could tweak it to send out terms so many minutes apart, I might think better of it.

thanks grnidone

The only thing worse than a sense of security in this world is a false sense of security.

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