Apple’s Privacy-Enhancing Personal Clones

The world needs more research like this. Apple’s successfully patented
a clever form of database pollution aimed at protecting people’s privacy. Instead of just sending fake data, they automatically create ‘clone’ profiles with some true information and some false… each of which might also be doing e.g web searches for stuff you don’t care about. Soon it becomes impossible to tell which profile is the real you.

Hopefully this pans out — as DigitalTrends points out, this sounds a bit too good to be true coming from Apple.

“profiling are provided. A cloned identity is created for a principal. Areas of interest are assigned to the cloned identity, where a number of the areas of interest are divergent from true interests of the principal. One or more actions are automatically processed in response to the assigned areas of interest. The actions appear to network eavesdroppers to be associated with the principal and not with the cloned identity.

These “areas of interest” that Apple proposes to fill in with fake data include semantic areas, categories, or subjects related to transactions or actions over the network, the patent states.

For example, one area of interest might be photography. A consumer might assign interests to his or her clone that link the phony persona with a passion for not only photography but specific areas of photography.

Say, your clone might be the type who clicks “Like” on all kitten photos she can get her electronic mitts on.[…]

As it is, individuals, particularly American citizens, are suspect of the motivations and actions of government and “Big Business.” […]

As e-commerce has grown, so has concern over the collection of confidential information, Apple says – not only by legitimate outfits but also by identity thieves.

But even the legal collection of our information is “extremely annoying,” Apple notes, “such as when targeted and aggressive marketing tactics are used.”


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