Amazon = Big Brother?

Story Text:

An Ap report is commented on in Business Week . It goes into how & what Amazon record on customers, and what they can and indeed could do with it.

Amazon knows things about you that you may not know yourself.

They have being doing it for years

For years, Amazon has collected detailed information about what its customers buy, considered buying, browsed for but never bought, recommended to others or even wished someone would buy them.

A9 gathers more on you

has launched a Web search engine, called A9, that can remember everything you've ever searched for -- and the site reserves the right to share that information with its retailing arm.

They clam they are not going to link it all up (yet)

But Manber said A9 has no current plans to link customers' Web searches with their Amazon shopping habits, even though data from both sites are stored using the same customer log-in


What if you're logged out?

If you're logged out while browsing, can they still track you through cookies? Or no?


Yep, easier than falling off a log jill..


I knew there was a reason I don't use Amazon.


This is one of the reasons I do not use A9. I do a lot of shopping with Amazon and am aware of their tracking, but I am leary of giving them both my Amazon and my A9 searches.

I thought this was general knowledge

Amazon's biggest advantage over other online stores is their ability to capture and record individual user data and then make changes using that data. Also don't forget the data they are getting from Alexa.

Trade off

Doesn't surprise me in the least. I'd imagine any company (online or off) that could track you would. Heck Sergy & Larry said data mining was of interest" to them *years* ago. I guess it's a price tp pay for all that added convenience.

We all data mine

Albeit Amazon, Yahoo! and Google do it on a more industrial scale.

Cookies gone

And then, how can anyone wonder why more and more people wipe Cookies on a monthly basis? :)


Thought it was pretty common knowledge.

But...Amazon is just the front man for a much wider collection of marketing demographics collection.

Google, Yahoo! and MSN have been doing this for years, too. And although the info they collect isn't so frontline as Amazon, they have all your free e-mails and can do whatever information retrieval they want with that for marketing purposes.

More likely, it's not all at the fore because the technology is lagging to apply it directly as yet - but it is coming.


Admittedly, Amazon is my favorite online store. Their recommendation system rocks and gets me to spend a fortune - and I've always known the reason they know what to recommend to me is that they keep track of what I'm doing on the site. I guess for me, its a tradeoff I'm willing to accept because I have such a good shopping experience with them and always have.

Recommendations rocks?

Recommendations on amazon are usually way off for me (apart from people who bought this also bought..) as it assumes that the person buying is the person consuming. I guess if you could say "this is a gift" without choosing gift wrap it might work better. I once bought "marilyn manson" type stuff for my brother who is a goth along with "tweenies" and "mr men" stuff for my daughter .. wonder what it made of that ;O)

Adding my searches in would confuse it even more - think of all the competitor reviews and research on behalf of clients etc! For broad indications this stuff is fine but it will take some good coding and power to remove the noise :O)

Recommendations on amazon are usually way off for me

Same here, way off to the point of annoying.

They are welcome to try and track me, they must think I'm one wierd dude :)


I find the recommedations pretty good, but then i think i have a fairly narrow set of things i buy so perhaps im just easier to predict.

What's more though, i want them to track me - im prepared to give a little in order to get a better service - if they can make my experience better then track away! Providing it's not being shared out of the store, im all for it...

ahh, buying for others...

You guys are polite and buy for others. No, all my shopping is for me ;-). That aside, yea, being able to check off "gift" would help the recommendation system a *lot*.

I'm all for giving over personal details

I am a privacy whore ;O)

My past history of database marketing pretty much means I would be a hippo-critter to be otherwise. The bigger the client the more diabolical things they ask (and have agreed to) re: CRM ;O)

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