Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Under Surveillance

This morning I found an e-mail entitled “Daily Itinerary” from Brock in my Gmail inbox.  It contained words like Bangkok, BKK, Cathay Pacific, and Air Asia flight.  I was somewhat startled to look to the right of my e-mail to find this list:
Sponsored Links
Expat Pack For Cable, Phone, Mobile & Internet. Stay Connected w/Home!
70% off Thai Flights
Compare Thailand Flights - Save
Check Out Our Huge Choice Of London Apartments @ Discounted Rates!
Fly Cheap to Bangkok Now. Compare Airfares w/ SuperSearch!
Discount Airline Flights & Air Fare Deals to Taipei. Compare & Save.
Official U.S. Website. Best Fare Guarantee. Book Now!
More about...
I know there is not a real person reading my e-mail, but it feels more than a little creepy to know that some form of artificial intelligence has been set loose in my Gmail account to see just what I’m up to.  And this cyber-human has guessed right that I’m going to Thailand.
But hey, where was this smartass when I really needed a cheap Bangkok fare?


Blogger lacochran's evil twin said...

I guess you should have g-mailed about it more, early on. My guess is your better at sussing out cheap tickets than what the google bot can provide in ads.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LA -- My tickets were not so cheap. I hesitate to open any of these links only to learn that I could have done better, SO I WON'T!

I guess I just have to accept the fact that we live in an electronic age and nothing much is private any more.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Every time I buy something online or even just visit an online store I end up with whatever product I was looking at magically parading along the sidebars of other web pages and at the bottom of emails. It is annoying. Today I was stalked by Keen shoes every single time I went online. Little do they know I have no money.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- It makes you wonder who is coordinating all our Google searches, e-mails, and purchases to know so much about our preferences! I guess they just assume that if you look at something even once you can afford it.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

Good question.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

Facebook does this too -- I often find ads in the margins related to things I've said I like or posts I've made. It's a little unnerving but I don't suppose it's a big deal. Just the way money is made these days!

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This kind of commercial Big-Brother-is-watching-you thing creeps me out (and annoys me). Every few days I remove all the unnecessary cookies from my computer (takes two minutes) and it helps a lot...


1:43 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Anon F -- Next time we talk, maybe you can tell me how to unload unwanted cookies from my computer.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'm with F. in deleting cookies. That totally freaks me out; though, half the time I'm more amused than anything. Apparently, I email in code more than I think.

11:29 PM  

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