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Everyone knows that you can be identified by your fingerprints in the real world…but how are you identified in cyber space?

“In a sense if the user engages in any Internet activity, information may be successfully collected about that user,” Apple¬†said regarding their new patent. “Thus, even the most cautious Internet users are still being profiled over the Internet via dataveillance techniques from automated Little Brothers.”

Big Brother is such a common term that there is even a popular show named after it. The idea of the show is that there is always someone watching you. The same principle applies online, except instead of fingerprints, websites use ‘cookies‘ to track a person’s internet activity. The most common use the data cookies provides, is for marketing and advertising companies. Google is one of the biggest online advertising companies around, and they happen to be Apple’s biggest competitor since releasing their Android phones to compete against the iPhone in 2007. I can’t help but wonder if this patent is Apple’s way of trying to meddle in their competitor’s business.

Google has provided free access to their many useful apps and platforms since their inception, in exchange for information about you. The information has been used to grow one of the largest online advertising platforms ever- Google Adwords. The reason Adwords has been so successful is because it can pinpoint target audiences much more effectively, thanks to the information you have been willing to share with Google about yourself. Think about every time you have searched for anything using Google, used Google Maps, etc.

Apple’s new patent intends to obscure the information that companies collect about you, for advertising purposes or otherwise, by feeding it some extra data to throw it off. Do you think this patent will make an impact at all?