[ExI] experiments on privacy: was: RE: privacy

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Mar 20 16:18:39 UTC 2019



From: spike at rainier66.com <spike at rainier66.com> 

>…BillW of course if you shop online for anything, you will be pummeled mercilessly for weeks by purveyors of that product.  Nothing particularly creepy about that: the reason the WWW grew and prospered is that there are skerjillions of ways to hawk one’s wares there.  So there was a lotta lotta money behind its explosive growth.  Cool!  


>…What I want to know now is if one enters the name of a product into the Google line without hitting Return, will it figure out what I was looking to buy?  I have a Google window open right now.  I enter “Wool sweater for sale” but I did not hit Enter.  I will leave it there for a few minutes, then delete it without ever entering any site or search list.  Then I will see if I get wool sweater spam.  spike



OK cool, it’s what I already knew: if you Google on something you want to buy, your ad-driven sites will send you ads for that.  No mystery, that’s how they make their living and why they give you free information on stuff you care about, no problem.  I entered wool sweater for sale, a few minutes later accidentally hit return, OK we know what happens.  Then I entered Pickup truck tires for sale, didn’t hit return, didn’t get ads (so far.)


OK no surprises.


Now I want to find out how much the great internet marketplace can learn from my Google searches and my clickstreams, and I want to repeat the phone hotspot experiment, see if I can replicate what happened before.  It might have been a coincidence, or the phone might have figured out my location (near one of the biggest wind generation areas) and sent me ads based on that, guessing that I went there to see the turbines.  I might even be able to explain the hoodie ads that way too: I was near-ish to some textile mills.  Shrugs.


Here’s what we should do: design some experiments find out what the market can find out about us.








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