FANGo, a Facebook Amazon Netflix Google Obfuscator

Martin Nadal

“FANGo” is a defense weapon against surveillance capitalism. Hidden under its appearance of mobile phone charger will be provided with a micro controller that takes control of the smartphone plugged in making queries to google, amazon and other search engines, launching videos in YouTube in order to deceive data brokers in their data capture process.

Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google were grouped under the acronym FANG as the most important and high-performing companies of the NASDAQ and pioneers of what is known today as surveillance capitalism.

In a similar way as industrial capitalism through its mechanics turned nature or work into a commodity such as real estate or labor, surveillance capitalism turns experiences that occur in the private sphere of the human being into commodities that can be bought and sold.

The difference of this type of capitalism is substantial as it integrates the human experiences of private realm in the production processes without the individual being fully conscious. This affects the economic sphere but also the independence of the human being, because with the logic of maximizing profits the companies will try to modify the user’s behaviour without the user being able to do much to defend himself.

The aim of the project is to disrupt this mechanics, adding noise to the captured data, making it difficult to transform the captured user data into predictions, thus devaluing the value of the extracted data.

The proposal presented consists of making a device in the form of a phone charger. When the user loads the mobile phone, a microcontroller simulates touches and interactions into the phone, adding noise to the captured data, making them unusable for companies and data brokers.

While the phone is charging, the microcontroller will perform searches, videos will be seen on YouTube will be given likes to Facebook posts, all these interactions will be captured by the data brokers without knowing that they are automatic, noise with the sole intention of worsening the quality of the data captured.

The “FANGo” charger works in a similar way to click farms, when the phone is plugged in it is controlled by a microcontroller, simulated swipes and erratic interactions as if they were made by the user.