Apple has been granted a most unusual patent that covers a method to create “clones” of online identities in an effort to protect user privacy and thwart the misappropriation of information. It documents a method to create a shadow identity that has just enough correct information to be believable.
Acknowledging the concerns people have with the amount of data being collected about them, who is collecting it, and to what purposes that data might be put, Apple filed back in October 2011 and today was granted a patent to “pollute electronic profiling.”
Send in the clones…
While the patent covers techniques and methods to gather and then “pollute” data tied to a user’s online identity, perhaps more important than the specifics is the general concept. Faking areas of interest, automatically performing actions on the network, and randomly selecting actions are just a few of the methods patented to throw eavesdroppers off the track.
The intent is to “make any data collection about a principal less valuable and less reliable” according to the patent.
For a lengthy summary of the patent, see Patently Apple’s report. The site also note that the technology is already in use by some Novell products and that Apple is the assignee of the patent with Stephen R. Carter being identified as the inventor.
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