“This Student Project Could Kill Digital Ad Targeting”

Meet Rachel Law, a 25-year-old graduate student from Singapore, who has created a game that could literally wreak havoc on the online ad industry if released into the wild.

Her creation, called “Vortex,” is a browser extension that’s part game, part ad-targeting disrupter that helps people turn their user profiles and the browsing information into alternate fake identities that have nothing to do with reality.

People who use the browser tool, which works with Firefox and Chrome, effectively confuse the technologies that categorize web audiences into likely running shoe buyers, in-market auto buyers, or moms interested in cooking and football.

“It’s a way of masking your identity across networks,” said Ms. Law. Ad Age visited the recent Design and Technology Masters grad at Parsons New School in Manhattan, where she sat working on her laptop in a sun-filled yet desolate lab space dedicated to collaboration among design and tech students.

via Advertising Age

As long as big-name execs enjoy their privacy (in ways we can only dream of), I am not the least bit sympathetic to whatever teeth-gnashing might come forth if this actually disrupts any ad revenue.

Such chaos would be unlikely to last long, anyway.

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