The creepy sound of online trackers

I can’t get the noise out of my head. People who watch the video express awe and disgust. And that is why Dutch software developer Bert Hubert’s experiment is so powerful. It doesn’t really uncover something that we shouldn’t already know. Something we often choose to ignore. The brilliance is that it makes us incapable of ignoring.

Bert himself explains that he has had the idea for years. It’s one of those things that live on in the back of your mind, until one day the stars align and you finally find that block of time when your idea surfaces at the same time.

Bert’s idea appears simple:

What if your computer made a little noise each time it sends data to Google?

So this is what he did. A piece of software dubbed googerteller designed for his Linux computer that emits a scratchy beep when the computer detects information flowing out from his computer to one of Google’s computers.

And here is what his first video looks like. Or rather, sounds like. It’s when visiting the official Dutch government jobs site. Bert notes that it does not ask for consent for this data transfer.

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Per Axbom

Making tech safe and compassionate through design, coaching and teaching. Independent consultant. Co-host of UX Podcast. Primary publication: