Paris – As UNESCO prepares to host an international negotiation about the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI), the organisation is launching a browser extension that aims to alert internet users to the dangers of data collection. The Cookie Factory uses fake HTTP cookies to allow netizens to adopt fake identities that demonstrate how data is harvested in real time.
Created in collaboration with French agency DDB, the extension allows users to choose from a portfolio of fictitious personalities, including a Japanese hacker, a conspiracy theorist and a survivalist. Once users have chosen their preferred identity, they can surf the web with their avatar’s chosen cookies, fooling the browser into thinking that they are someone else. By switching identities, users will be able to see how data collection triggers different recommendations and targeted advertisements on popular websites such as Amazon and YouTube.
Upending the algorithms that underpin the digital world, this initiative aims to expose how data collection can create harmful echo chambers of thought. With the rampant rise of online misinformation, there is growing demand for Morality Recoded and rising awareness of the potential harm of AI technologies.
Tech-savvy consumers are more conscious than ever of the negative impact of data collection. Instead of running targeted campaigns to promote products, why not consider using ad space to spotlight a social cause?