Sketchy marketers, surveillance capitalists, and all manner of dodgy dealers like to ask intrusive questions you shouldn’t have to answer. Unfortunately, the magic* of computers means the forms they make you use can require certain fields to be filled in. Unlike a paper form, you can’t just leave them blank, but there is something you can do that is both effective and fun.
“But Justin, I’m a busy person,” I hear you say, “I just don’t have time to think up new lies all the time!”
Happily, this modern problem has an equally modern solution: your password manager.
More than passwords
A password manager can do much more than just generate unique passwords for every need and remember them for you. They can also store identities.
Here’s what I’ve done in one of my password managers:
Password managers have this feature so they can remember your work email or personal mailing address for forms, and it saves you a bunch of typing for things like online shopping. You can just click a button and it’ll figure out where everything needs to go. But you don’t have to tell the truth!
Here’s an example of what you can do. I’ve invented a person named Eileen Frombisham who is unsettlingly interested in all manner of whitepapers, paywalls and lots of other things that ask for information I don’t want to give out. So Eileen lies to them for me.
If I want to lie to a form, I just click on one of these pre-made identities and my password manager fills in the form for me. Quick and easy!
Sometimes Clive Spencer might want to sign up for a mailing list to check it out. Other times Alphonse McTavish is very interested in what a whitepaper has to say. And other times Eileen feigns interest in a lazy marketer’s scribblings. You can get as creative or as dull as you like inventing new people to pollute the datasets with. Once they’ve been saved, filling in a form is as simple as clicking on an identity.
While no password manager (that I know of) yet generates a new random but plausible identity at the click of a button, this would be a handy feature, especially if it was paired with something like Fastmail’s masked emails. Perhaps some helpful nerd could build such a thing?
Automate Your Lies
So go on! Swamp the surveillance shysters’ systems with shit! Fill the database with pointless noise so their algorithms are worthless.
Every time you pretend to be someone you made up, you’re helping protect everyone’s privacy, not just your own.
Automate your lies with a password manager today!