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Amazon Snooping Your Surfing For Targeted Ads? 124

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the shoulder-surfing-retailers dept.
Jewfro_Macabbi writes, "Recently after browsing major online retailers for Bluetooth adapters, I went to Amazon.com to find front-page ads for, you guessed it, Bluetooth adapters. Disable cookies, the ads go away; re-enable cookies and the ads re-appear. The EULA is ambiguous as usual. Try it for yourself and see."
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Amazon Snooping Your Surfing For Targeted Ads?

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  • A9 or Alexa Toolbar (Score:5, Informative)

    by HTMLSpinnr (531389) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:13PM (#16039221) Homepage
    I wonder if the original submitter happens to browse with the A9 [a9.com] or Alexa [alexa.com] toolbars enabled? Both are subsidiaries of Amazon.com [amazon.com]. One would need to review their EULA's though to see if said info can be used to target shopping ads from their own site.
  • by Lord Prox (521892) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:25PM (#16039284) Homepage
    I am building a website on website traffic tips n tricks and stumbled upon this...
    Retargeting [retargeting.com]
    I am 90% sure that this is what they are doing or some variation thereof. Inexpensive service that should work well.




    Place a curse in the RIAA/MPAA. [i-curse.com]
  • Re:my test (Score:4, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:47PM (#16039379)
    I tried it again cos I like repeatability. This time I also clicked on all of the google "sponsored links." This time amazon wanted me to buy a Creative Zen, a smattering of sandals (guess it's time to clear out all those summer sandals), some Sony hifi stuff, pants and dresses, more shoes, and some more watches. Still no bluetooth stuff. However, if I click the amazon link from my bluetooth search and then open a new window and go to amazon.com via the address bar, the front page is chock full o' bluetooth adapters (with some sandals and watches at the bottom). Clearly Jewfro clicked on an amazon or target link earlier in his journeys in the tubes.
  • by fermion (181285) * on Monday September 04, 2006 @07:37PM (#16040796) Homepage Journal
    While toolbars are the logical explanation, it could be that this person normally runs with cookies wide open. This means that the web usages is being tracked by the affiliate cookies. Though cookies are set up to be read only by the site that set them, most sites get around this by having double click, 2o7, etc set root tracking cookies. Therefore the average person, lets say the majority of the majority that still run IE wide open, is well tracked. It would be trivial to expand this to coded shopping categories. For the average user it might be a valuable service, and others should learn to accept only root cookies.

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