Website opens a hundred tabs to build fake advertising profiles

Mozilla has built a website that allows the browser to open one hundred tabs in one go to mislead advertisers. Because thousands of trackers are loaded on one specific topic, ad networks build incorrect profiles.

The website is called trackthis.link and can be used in any browser. On the website visitors can choose a fictional profile, such as that of an influencer, a ‘doomsday prepper’ or a filthy rich person. After a user has chosen a profile, the browser opens a hundred tabs of websites that have something to do with it. For example, if you choose the profile of a millionaire, you will be presented with websites about credit cards, private aircraft or bespoke suits. Influencers mainly see social networks and photo cameras.

The website works on every browser, but on Firefox there are some limitations. That browser has restrictions, so that only twenty tabs can be opened at a time and only after users have given their permission. On other browsers, there are a hundred tabs.

The website was created by the Firefox team. The site is a nod to how advertisers use tracking cookies to track internet users. By opening many websites at the same time, hundreds or even thousands of such trackers load, so that the advertisers build a different profile of users if they actually have one. The makers warn users that they really need to know for sure if they really want to open all the tabs: “A hundred tabs is very much.”

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