“Knowledge is power, data is money”

Amazon Knows Us a Little Too Well

With how fast technology is advancing it isn’t surprising that companies know everything about us. From our buying habits to what were looking to purchase in the future. With algorithms that allow data to be stored companies like Amazon have been going full force on to what is going too far in the minds of the consumer.

When making purchases online companies look to track everything from what you looked at, how long you looked, and even now predictions of what you should be looking at. This is where I think it starts to get on the creepy side of things, with companies showing you what they think you want to see. With recommendations on products, you may not even want to see. But these algorithms and the software they use allows these companies to help dictate what they want you to buy. Even though most of the time you do want that SSD with that laptop you’re going to buy. It just makes sense that these types of targeted ads or recommendations do speed up and help improve the buying process. The only concern I have is when it becomes something you don’t want to see. For example, one Christmas I used Amazon.ca to order some gifts. I decided on buying some jewelry for a few people in my family. After doing a bit of research and finding out which ones would be best for the people I was buying them for I noticed all my recommendations were jewelry related. Even though I’ve used Amazon for many other purchases it was still recommending just jewelry. I know after a while it equals out and the targeted ads eventually become diminished and even out. But, there is still that time that allows users to only notice recommendations upon those algorithms Amazon uses.

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Hopefully, in the coming years, companies will find out new ways to help serve these ads without being this creepy. With consumers not wanting to be targeted as much as they currently are. Companies who focus on the quality of their targeted ads will be the first to see consumers proactively using their technology. Whereas right now it is more like people are looking to dodge anything targeted related, let alone anything ad related in general. With ad blockers being almost mandatory while surfing the web. Companies need to look at how to make them less invasive and more intuitive to help prevent these highly target ads from knowing what you want before you even know. To help gain customer trust we need to avoid going as far as they did in the film the Minority Report. Where advertising in the future uses targeted ads triggered from reading your eyes. In this video you see Mr Cruise seeing for the first time after his operation to change his eyes. This is because in the Minority Report the Police are able to scan your eyes and see if you’re wanted for a crime. So hopefully the process to avoid your browser history doesn’t require a new set of eyes like Mr Cruise needed in this film.

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