Track Me Not

20 02 2010

So I stumbled on this plugin called Track Me Not. What it does is make random searches to popular search engines. Their site explains what it does much better then I can do.

What they do and don’t know about me bothers me a little but not as much as it does others, however, I LOVE the idea of screwing with their data. One of the features that TMN has is to seed from RSS feeds. So I added Slashdot, Fark, and a few porn sites. It is kinda funny to see some of the random searches made to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and AOL when you mix Tech stories with Porn updates :-).

“But you really don’t like using firefox plugins!”
Yeah I know. I think most plugins are coded in a sloppy manner, full of bugs and security holes, and the reason why most people have problems with Firefox…but that is a whole different blog post. So what I did for TMN was that I have a box that sits off to the side that hosts things like all my Debian and Ubuntu ISO torrents (ALL legit torrents), so I fired up Firefox and installed the plugin. Now Firefox runs on the box all day making random query after random query. I know this isn’t the most effective use of this tool but if it doesn’t crash Firefox on this box then I may added it to my other systems. I also have it set to log for now so I am hoping to go back in a few days and see if I can find any interesting queries that are particularly humourous. I will update if any actually are.

“Why do this?”
Well their FAQ states:

Isn’t it a good thing that search companies keep track of my search history?
In a perfect world, where search companies and other third parties could be trusted, such histories would serve all of us well and promise greater functionality to both the companies and individual searchers. As long as search companies and other information collectors unilaterally develop and pursue policies that don’t take seriously the interests of individuals, society, and standing political and social values, individuals will have to make a choice between convenience and privacy.

While I do agree to some extent, I just think everyone should run TMN simply just to screw with the data sets. 🙂

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