P2P Foundation

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Some privacy concerns related to Google Search and resulting email advertisements

Something strange happened to me today, and I wonder if any of you can explain to me how this could possibly happen.

Yesterday, I undertook a google search on the topic of summer camps in Italy, for a friend of mine in Italy. I did not contact any of the people behind the pages I found.

Today, I got an email advertisement in my yahoo mailbox, entitled "Summer camps in Italy" but with content about a general seminar organization.

This cannot be possibly a coincidence. Clearly this company got hold of my email address, knew I had done this search, and used the topic as a hook to send me a related message.

I see two possibilities:

1) google is sending my keyword searches, along with my email address to third parties using email advertising

2) this company somehow scraped my email when I was browsing one of the pages.

Any technical or ethical insights? Are these common practices?


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