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TrackMeNot Review: The Worst Security Tool Ever? Written by: Mark Muller•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/18/2011 TrackMeNot is a browser add-on for Firefox aiming at obfuscating your searches in Google and other search engines.

TrackMeNot Review: The Worst Security Tool Ever?

TMN is very popular among users, yet security expert are concerned about the usefulness of TrackMeNot and its potential detrimental effects. Here’s all you want to know about it. What is TrackMeNot? TrackMeNot (TMN) is a Firefox browser add-on aiming at preventing search engine user profiling by sending clear-text random queries to leading search engines with the idea that your real search terms will be buried and concealed by the mass and spectrum of the TMN random queries. Stay Invisible is an Internet anonymity test that helps you to control your online privacy and anonymity. Who Knows What Youhavedownloaded.com? You may have never heard of youhavedownloaded.com, but if you recently grabbed movies, music or software from online file-trading networks, chances are decent that the site has heard of you.

Who Knows What Youhavedownloaded.com?

In fact, you may find that the titles you downloaded are now listed and publicly searchable at the site, indexed by your Internet address. In many ways, the technology behind the site merely recreates in a publicly searchable way what the entertainment industry has been doing for years: It tracks and records information that users share when they download and upload files on public peer-to-peer file-trading networks. But the free service does have the potential to make people think twice about downloading pirated movies, games and music, because it shows how easily this information can be discovered and archived. So far, youhavedownloaded.com has recorded more than 50 million unique Internet addresses belonging to file-sharing users. The site is searchable by file name and by Internet address. "Anonymized" data really isn't—and here's why not. The Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission had a bright idea back in the mid-1990s—it decided to release "anonymized" data on state employees that showed every single hospital visit.

"Anonymized" data really isn't—and here's why not

The goal was to help researchers, and the state spent time removing all obvious identifiers such as name, address, and Social Security number. But a graduate student in computer science saw a chance to make a point about the limits of anonymization. Latanya Sweeney requested a copy of the data and went to work on her "reidentification" quest. It didn't prove difficult. Law professor Paul Ohm describes Sweeney's work: At the time GIC released the data, William Weld, then Governor of Massachusetts, assured the public that GIC had protected patient privacy by deleting identifiers.

Boom! That's the claim advanced by Ohm in his lengthy new paper on "the surprising failure of anonymization. " Don't ruin me Examples of the anonymization failures aren't hard to find. There are approaches that can reduce problems. Not-so-privately annoyed by Spokeo. So I got an invite earlier today from one of those friends who'll sign up for just about anything, directing me to Spokeo.com -- a site that purports to keep track of my social-networking site activity.

Not-so-privately annoyed by Spokeo

Not a priority for me on a busy weekday, but now I'm going to have to make it one. You see, a few hours after the original request, I received the following e-mail from the company: Social media search: A stalker's paradise? Don't look now, but you're being watched.

Social media search: A stalker's paradise?

And now that I've signed up for Spokeo.com, I could be the one watching you. Spokeo is a search engine that uses email addresses to find people across the social Web. Give the site your log-on info for Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, or AOL - or just upload your personal address book; Spokeo will scour 41 social networks and collect all information associated with each email address. Blog entries, Linked In profiles, Flickr photostreams, Twitter tweets, Digg comments, Amazon wish lists - and a whole lot more - all on one tidy little Web page. And every time they add new content, Spokeo lets you know. In other words, for just $3 to $5 a month Spokeo gives you the ability to stalk near-total strangers in new and fascinating ways.

I don't know about you, but my email address book is filled with people I couldn't pick out of a police lineup. For instance: There's a senior PR rep for Yahoo whom I met once five years ago. Actually, that's not quite true. Best_Practices_Datasheets.pdf (application/pdf Object)