In this “new” digital world we live in, tracking users has become big business and more and more sites are participating in this to provide targeted ads and information. In some ways this can be helpful, but it is disturbing on other levels, since someone else is trying to determine what you see, without you being completely aware of their actions. Watching people to determine their interests is also being done by governments, and in the US, ISP’s have gained the right to watch your browsing habits, and it is difficult to hide from the entity providing access to the web.
All of this has led to a new type of plug-in, currently available for Chrome, and soon to be released for Firefox. It is called Noiszy, and its main purpose is to obscure your real browsing history with a flood of plausible, but false information to anyone who might be trying to build a profile from your habits online.
Once installed and activated, Noiszy exists in its own browser tab, going to a predetermined list of approved sites, ones that are known to gather just the sort of information we have been talking about. It simulates human behavior by staying on the site for a period of time, then randomly selects another from the list, or possibly stays where it is, depending on random chance. The intent of the plug-in is to create a smokescreen of activity that has no connection to your real browsing habits, and thus make any information collected from your online browsing less valuable, and less likely to lead to an accurate assessment of your life and interests.
For those interested in reducing their digital footprints, Noiszy might be a handy method, and it is still being improved. You can read an interview with the creator of Noiszy at Digital Journal, which has a great deal more detail on the plug-in.