James Walker

James Walker

Web Developer

Creating digital noise: How a new web plugin hides your footsteps online

Published on Tuesday April 11 2017 at 18:09 in News Editorials

A recently-launched browser plugin has introduced a new way to resist online tracking by creating "digital noise." Noiszy decreases the value of data collected by ISPs and advertisers by masking your activities with a "flood" of auto-generated web visits.

Noiszy's launch comes at a time when cybersecurity and online privacy is highly topical. Congress' repeal of its legislation designed to prevent broadband companies from selling personal data has created a surge of interest in the subject. As demand for privacy protection spikes, Noiszy is a new browser extension vying for your attention.

Noiszy's concept is surprisingly simple: data becomes less valuable if it's not accurate. Ad networks and ISPs hoover up your browsing history on the assumption you actually visited all the sites.

Noiszy adds some randomly-generated data to the mix, a step its creator says will let you start reclaiming your privacy. It's a small change but it makes all online data a little less meaningful, reducing its power when manipulated by governments and companies.

"If the power of our collective digital noise is harnessed and used judiciously, we can affect change," Noiszy's website states. "We can create an environment where responsible data collection and usage are held as standards of doing good business, and where data ethics are considered and promoted at all points along the digital journey."

Enjoyed this excerpt? Read my full report for Digital Journal to learn more about Noiszy.