This post is very much a stream of thought from a small handful of conversations and triggered by a tweet I saw today.
Firefox have launched Track THIS - a "tool" that will launch 100 tabs depending on the persona you select - which I half suspect are based on the Spice Girls personas.
The effect of launching the 100 tabs is that cookies are dropped by those site, which (in theory) allows you to see how advertisers track you around the web. But there's something much more interesting worth looking at: pollution.
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The side effect of these cookies being linked to my browser on sites and content I have absolutely no interest in is: advertisers are spending and wasting money advertising to me. The impact of a single person is nothing, but imagine if a large proportion of the polluted their browsing habits in similarly random ways. Advertising would have to completely rethink their marketing.
Except it's not even the advertisers and products we want to hurt. It's the corporations that sell our browsing habits. Those corporations, the big ones with the stranglehold on the web, sell information on our habits and the highest bidder who then has the opportunity to influence and even change our decisions through carefully crafted targeted messaging. (Note to self: I should really provide links rather than hand wavy accusations, but, in lieu of those dear reader, please watch this 15 minute talk).
What if, as a compliment to privacy tools (like Firefox, Brave, DuckDuckGo and the live), we, the end user, are able to pro-actively pollute what corporations consider "our privacy". What if my viewing habits on Twitter (for instance) were mixed with your own.
Could we share accounts for browsing somehow?
I'm really interested in seeing if there's a way to fully pollute my browsing. Until then, Track THIS is a nice start!