Background

AdNauseam blends software tool and 'artware' intervention in a browser extension designed to protect users from surveillance and tracking by advertising networks. AdNauseam works similarly to an 'Ad Blocker', but in addition to hiding advertisements, it simulates clicks on each identified ad (in a background thread), confusing trackers as to one's real interests. Simultaneously, AdNauseam serves as a means of amplifying users' discontent with advertising networks that disregard privacy and facilitate bulk surveillance agendas.

We conceptualize AdNauseam within a broader class of software systems that serve ethical, political, and expressive ends. In light of the industry's failure to achieve consensus on a Do Not Track standard1*, or to otherwise address the excesses of network tracking, AdNauseam allows individual users to take matters into their own hands, offering cover against certain forms of surveillance, profiling, and practices of discrimination. Taken in this light, the software represents a similar approach to that of TrackMeNot, which attempts to relocate power in the hands of individual users, rather then vast commercial search corporations. For further information on this approach, please see this paper.