0
$\begingroup$

A simple problem with search engines is that you have to trust that they will not build a profile of search queries you submit. (Without Tor or e.g. homomorphic encryption, that is.)

Suppose we put together a search engine server with a use policy that permits constant queries being sent by paid customers.

The search engine's client transmits, at some frequency, generated search queries (e.g. markov, ML-generated, random dictionary words, sourced from news, whatever; up to you) in order to intentionally obscure the real search queries performed by customers. In other words it pretends to be a thousand contradictory personalities, nationalities, genders, races, hobbies, etc.

How difficult would it be to generate enough queries to hide yourself in the data?

$\endgroup$

1 Answer 1

1
$\begingroup$

I am not sure how many queries you'd need to perform to drown out your actual search queries, but there is already is an actual browser addon which does this. This addon is called TrackMeNot and is available to install for both Google Chrome and Firefox. More in-depth information on how this addon works can be found on their website and the whitepaper (section 3), but in short it create a dynamic list of queries based on popular search terms.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, this is a great answer because I can follow the paper and also its references for related work! $\endgroup$ Mar 5, 2021 at 11:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.