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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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  • by BWJones (18351) * on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:58PM (#16039152) Homepage Journal
    How long did it take you to figure that out Jewfro_Macabbi?

    To my end user (of Amazon.com) knowledge, they have been doing this for at least a couple of years. Of course, the problem with the EULA is that the cookie is set as soon as you visit unless you explicitly disable cookies.

    Of course being anonymous is getting harder and harder these days (especially if you are surfing from a place that is having packets sniffed by someone like the NSA. (for kicks do a traceroute (*NIX and OS X, tracert on Windows) on NSA.gov from where you are and look for the AT&T hub that is splitting the traffic (The AT&T hub for my traffic is tbr1013801.dvmco.ip.att.net). I know my packets are sniffed coming from an edu domain as well.......

  • Amazon hosting? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rosyna (80334) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:18PM (#16039239) Homepage
    It seems more like amazon is hosting these major retailer's websites. For example, if you go to target.com it says on the bottom right, "Powered by Amazon.com". Amazon has their hands in a lot of retailers pockets. Mostly because it is just easier to pay amazon to do it than it is to set it all up yourself. Especially when amazon.com is a "proven" website.
  • my test (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:27PM (#16039293)
    After clearing my cache/cookies/etc, I closed and then reopened Firefox. I went to google and did a search for "bluetooth adapters." I middle clicked on everything on the results page except the amazon.com link. I then opened a new tab and went to amazon.com. They wanted to sell me LCD TVs, an electric toothbrush, some DVD box sets, iPod and cell phone cases, purses and messenger bags, and some watches. No bluetooth devices at all. Go figure...
  • Very misleading (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bill0755 (692856) on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:17PM (#16039530)
    Your claim definitely scores high for tapping into paranoia of cookies. Unfortunately, the only way Amazon knows you are looking for bluetooth adapters is if you visit their site first. This may have happened by way of a search result. Is this supposed to be surprising?

    Nice try though. Cookie paranoia is a bit worn out for me.

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