Many years ago when I got married (for the first time), I was very concerned about what my best man would say about me in his speech at the Reception. I warned him “I do not care what you say about me, provided that it is not true“. I recall that he complained that the proviso limited him in what he could talk about. Fortunately he preserved my reputation that night.
Digital Trends are now reporting in Apple Get Privacy Protecting Data Polluting Patent that Apple has acquired US Patent D662,492 that is designed to produce false online profiling information to fool automated profilers.
While some of the thinking that I expressed to my best man before my wedding day may be mirrored in the patent (is that prior art?), it is fundamentally flawed.
Firstly, it is not about protecting someone privacy. It is only designed to send out false information about that entity, so that other profilers, other than site (Apple?) who has control of sending the false information is fooled.
Secondly, I am a lot more concerned if false information was being sent about my profile than I would be about my genuine activities. My reputation is important.
Thirdly, there are strong advantages in allowing search engines like Google to maintain a profiles about you. You will get more precise searches, and I do not get offended when the paid advertisements that may display are more suited to my interests.
I may by cynical, but I suspect that Apple may be trying to keep exclusively for themselves the value of that profiling information.