If you don't want your true identity to be discovered online, one way to stay hidden is to muddle your online profile with tweaked names, different birth dates, made-up preferences and other false information. Some professionals who can't present as themselves in social media contexts (teachers, therapists & the like) use this strategy to hide from inquiring administrators and searching students/patients.
This approach isn't unique to individuals, however -- a similar type of profile polluting is detailed in a patent that Apple recently obtained from Novell, says an Information Week report.
Patent number 8,205,265 was originally awarded to Novell in April 2007 as patent number 20070094738 and describes "techniques to pollute electronic profiling." According to The Atlantic, one on-device method includes cloning a user's digital identity multiple times and inserting fake information along with the real information. This new composite identity is employed when a user ventures out onto the Internet. The technology described in the patent is meant to stymie "eavesdroppers monitoring the network."