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Amazon Snooping Your Surfing For Targeted Ads? 124

Jewfro_Macabbi writes, "Recently after browsing major online retailers for Bluetooth adapters, I went to 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 yagu ( 721525 ) * <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ugayay>> on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:57PM (#16039145) Journal

    I too tried to shop for bluetooth devices at a major online retailer... then I went to Not a single reference anywhere to any bluetooth devices. For me the experiment ends there. I had cookies turned on (always do), and was logged into both sites with an account login.

    Aren't "other" cookies supposed to be invisible to a domain application? I thought so. So, is there a possibility you are surfing at some retailer that has a partnership of some kind with amazon (many do), and hence the information is shared in a partnership, but not across the proscribed browser boundaries?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:03PM (#16039180)
    The only way amazon could know you were looking for an item would be if they themselves set the cookie. I think you'll find one of the retailers you visited was an amazon shop or the like. I don't use these 'one-click' pioneers myself but this is just bullshit!
  • Known issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XanC ( 644172 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:05PM (#16039188)
    He's not claiming Amazon hacked his browser. It's been known for ages that if two sites both use the same ad company to display ads, that your activity on both sites can be linked. He's saying Amazon is using these data to target ads on their front page.
  • And?? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:22PM (#16039265)
    Hey nitwit, do you want random stupid commercials or commercials that you might actually be interested in?

    Personally if I'm have to watch commercials (for free programming or whatever) then I damn well would rather watch something that might interest me.
  • by cuban321 ( 644777 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:30PM (#16039304) Homepage
    Yeah cause you know... AT&T couldn't just be their upstream provider or anything. /tinfoil
  • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:50PM (#16039394)

    Inexpensive service that should work well.

    Step 4: The consumer returns to your site to complete the sale.

    Now you have the ability to send visitors directly to your "here is where we close the sale" page by doing some or all of the following:

    * Send them directly to the ordering page of the product they looked at before leaving.

    That should work well... if your intention is to make your potential customers think you are stalking them!

  • by cuban321 ( 644777 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @04:34PM (#16039614) Homepage
    (Offtopic, but oh well I couldn't resist)

    You seem to have a lack of understanding about how the Internet works. I go through qwest to get to /.-- that doesn't mean qwest is "sniffing" my traffic. It simply means qwest is a provider who is peered with speakeasy (my ISP) and savvis (apparently Slashdots' provider).

    Do you really think the NSA wouldn't use transparent ethernet taps [] anyways? And do you really think the NSA would have all that traffic dumped back to ""?
  • by Jewfro_Macabbi ( 1000217 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @09:07PM (#16040956)
    I went and visited foreign based Islamic web sites for products, and Amazon recommended Islamic books and films after. I'm not seeing it as likely Amazon has partnerships with these companies....
  • by cduffy ( 652 ) <> on Monday September 04, 2006 @09:24PM (#16041026)
    Individual americans are going through tough economic times in large part due to a culture of irresponsible debt spending. Having a comparatively high ceiling for impulse purchases is part and parcel.

    (Obviously, this doesn't apply to everyone).
  • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @12:26AM (#16041994)
    While toolbars are the logical explanation, it could be that this person normally runs with cookies wide open.

    Running AdAware and having a good hosts file go a long way in keeping the advitisers from setting tracking cookies.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.