IT Employment

General discussion


E-tail sites that use consumer profiling

By MaryWeilage Editor ·
What are your thoughts on automated consumer profiling by e-commerce sites, as featured in this week's Application Developer Management newsletter? Do you feel that it violates your privacy, or do you like it when items are recommended to you based on your profile? If you oversee an e-commerce site, does your company use automated consumer profiling?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Confuse the consumer or the profile

by NCorbin In reply to E-tail sites that use con ...

I use various websites that I suspect do this profiling. I also do this using several different computers and web browsers (home, office, road...) Does this confuse my profile (or our profiles). If it does, then both I and the web site concerned have a sub-optimal experience. Not profiling my be better for everyone, compared to getting it wrong!

Collapse -

A response from the author

by MaryWeilage Editor In reply to Confuse the consumer or t ...

Profiling data is typically associated with the browser and URI referer. Therefore, each individual's session at different machines will be
considered separate. There are some systems that do track the individual. This is typically done by requiring a registration of some sort. When this is done, the location of where the user accesses the system does not matter. In this example, the system will profile based on actual user (registered) history.--ADM column author

Collapse -

what is the real value?

by dodad In reply to E-tail sites that use con ...

Profiling is invasive if profile information is sold to other organizations without the profilee's knowledge and consent.

The fact that one collects profile information and the degree of its privacy should be made public on a policy page. Why does joining a 'free' singles chat group, or entering a contest, make me a candidate for gambling sites, or debt reduction spam? Is it up to the site operator's judgement how my information is used, not my own. How many operators sell email addresses with demographic information? I hazard a guess that the business model for so many sites is exactly contrary to my definition of ethical profiling.

Even if profiling is done the way the article describes, which sounds great, does it work? Proof would consist of increased sales, or increased repeat sales from people who were profiled vs those not profiled. I bet not much of that kind of analysis is done out there. Profiling could be a valid marketing technique. But why is spam so prevalent?

Collapse -

Am I being profiled?

by smchris In reply to what is the real value?

I don't know. Maybe if they sell my data, it comes back to me with offers for something I would find appealing. But if web ads are particularly tailored to me, I certainly don't see it, because they aren't generally offering anything I'm interested in. Maybe it's my wide and weird interests but I do enjoy Amazon's automated boxes: "Buy books on South African rock music at Amazon now!" (Yeah, right.)

You hear about people who ordered Minelli and Streisand CDs together and get gay ads forever. I would think that was funny as long as the data didn't work its way upstream to some metaprofile that the world thinks is "me".

Basically, I don't think the AI is there, don't know if it ever will be, to move beyond Amazon's "The people who bought this book also bought..." _That_ probably is effective because it is tracking group thinking that resulted in buying behavior.

Collapse -

Profiling Really Lessens Sales

by TAPhilo In reply to E-tail sites that use con ...

The idea of customer siloh profiling, showing similar items to what they looked at - IN THE PAST -- is really is going to hurt in the long run. If I went to a site and looked at table lamps, then from the next time I went there they showed me floor lamps all over every page that I visit is that really going to get me to purchase them? What they are saying is similar to someone who looked at only the sports page one day at home and the next day the ONLY items in the whole paper were sports stories from around the world since he looked at sports he / she must want only sports stories from then on.

By silohing people as to what they are allowed to see on pages these people will be less likely to purchase in the future since they will NOT see other items.

Short term gain long term loss for people with tunnel vision marketing.

Tom Philo

Collapse -

Your Business My Privacy

by roseybike In reply to E-tail sites that use con ...

In a world where get more done with less is the mantra, profiling those who already visit your site is probably cheaper than driving new customers to your site. Such an untapped resource is hard to resist, but at what cost.

Current privacy policies, legalease not withstanding, are dificult to comprehend, let alone the companys option to change them at anytime without notice to previous consumers. How is the consumer to protect themselves from close scrunity while allowing a business to do more business?

I would be foolish if I belived that e-commerce sites are looking out for what is best for me, they are not. They are in the business of selling more. I do what I can to avoid being targeted because my privacy is <strong>not</strong> what will sell more.

Collapse -

BuildaGate Suite Technology

by aai In reply to E-tail sites that use con ...

Dear experts

My company plan to develop our e-Business application with BuildaGate Suite Technology (

Do you have any information or ideas about the BuildaGate Suite Technology ?

In their web site, the wrote that the productare very cheap, open-source (PHP/MySQL) and run on every O.S and Web server type.

Best regards,

Iphtach Cohen

Collapse -


by powerofking In reply to E-tail sites that use con ...


Collapse -


by powerofking In reply to E-tail sites that use con ...


Collapse -


by powerofking In reply to E-tail sites that use con ...


Related Discussions

Related Forums