Sunday, 13 June 2010
Hush! now how did they know that?
Am I being behaviourally advertised too? – or is it just a co-incidence?
A little while ago I was blogging about Justice Minister Ken Clarke, and carried out a “Google” Search to find some images of hush puppies, as I knew that he favoured that particular type of footwear. I used the best image I could find when I posted my update on 13 May.
I also (very occasionally) order books from Amazon.co.uk. The off script, or novel. And once or twice a DVD.
Well, just a couple of days ago, this email arrived:
Dear Amazon.co.uk Customer,
As you've recently visited our store or bought similar products from us in the past, we thought we'd share with you what our customers are currently searching for in our Shoes store. Have a look below to see what's currently hot in Shoes at the moment. Don't forget to check out our Shoes Bestsellers for all the hottest products!
How did this happen? I have not been thinking about buying shoes recently, so was amused that some computer programme had mistaken my desire to find a suitable image for my blog with an apparent interest in new footwear.
I can only suppose that Google has somehow explained to me that it has retained the right to exploit for its own commercial purposes information about search terms that have been previously entered by people using the IP address assigned to the device I am currently using, and that they have sold this information (or otherwise made it available) to Amazon.
Call me old fashioned, but I thought that Amazon only sold books and DVDs. (And cloud computing facilities). I had no idea it sold shoes. And I didn't know that Google sold this information to Amazon. Perhaps I should have known - but then again how often do we data protection folk read the privacy poicies that are created for us when we act as customers on the internet?
I wonder what connection Amazon (or Google) will come up with next.
I recently bought a copy of the script of the play “Saved”, by Edward Bond. It contains a very disturbing scene, where a baby in a pram is stoned to death in a park. One of the actors in the original 1965 Royal Court Theatre production was a youthful Denis Waterman – who is now a very distinguished actor and would certainly not wish to be associated with portrayals of such murderous violence ever again. A couple of years ago he took a prominent role in a national anti-knife crime campaign, following incidents where a number of young lads were murdered by other youths wielding knives – good for him.
But I wonder if I’m due, any time soon, to get another email from the Amazon crew – perhaps saying:
Dear Amazon.co.uk Customer,
As you've recently visited our store or bought similar products from us in the past, we thought we'd share with you what our customers are currently searching for in our Religious store. Have a look below to see what's currently hot in repeats of your favourite moments of redemption right now. Don't forget to check out our Born Again Bestsellers for all the hottest saviours!