An Amazonian Fishing Trip

by Chris Hawkins @

Something funny is definitely going on with Amazon and their recommendations system at the moment. They're blatantly lying about things you've "viewed" on their site, which they've either been fed from some other source, or fished out of your browsing history.

Here's a copy of the e-mail I've just fired off to them:

I've been noticing recently that Amazon has told me I've viewed products on Amazon which I know I haven't viewed, but I have been on other sites which contain that item. For example, many films I've Googled recently have suspiciously shown up on my viewed items list on the Amazon homepage.

My suspicious were really peaked when I was told I'd viewed a Mercedes Benz book, which I can *guarantee* I did NOT view, right after I'd visited the Mercedes website.

Can you please explain to me how you're getting this information? Are you in a data-sharing agreement with Google, or are you just sniffing at my locally-stored browsing history.

I love that Amazon provides me with good recommendations based on things I've bought/reviewed/rate/viewed within Amazon, but I'm not at all happy that you're apparently getting non-Amazon data involved in this recommendation system.

I look forward to your explanation.

Things like this don't usually bother me, but I'm looking forward to hearing when this came in and what exactly is going on...