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?