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Partner targeted by Facebook ad for perfume I was researching - has this happened to you?

kreteknose

Active member
Apr 2, 2023
554
213
I was thinking to buy a bottle of MFK Gentle Liquidity Silver and reading old threads here on that scent. I must have entered it into Google too, to look up the Fragantica profile and old reviews. I must have done this several times over a few days before buying, although I must have entered several other perfumes with less frequency. I must have been with the lady a number of times when doing this.

Later, the lady told me an ad for this specific perfume showed up on her Facebook feed (not mine). Creepy.

Has this ever happened to anyone here?
 

chypre

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 10, 2006
1,857
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Yes, it is very creepy. I was once standing with some friends who were briefly discussing kanji, and 15 minutes later I had an ad on my phone for Japanese language classes. (I had not googled or visited sites about Japan or the Japanese language, and it was the first time I'd been shown an ad on this topic).
 

CookBot

Flâneuse
Basenotes Plus
Jan 6, 2012
15,188
35,787
Were any of you having these discussions in the presence of an Alexa or Siri device?

I heard someone on a tech podcast talking about how she and her husband were having a discussion in their kitchen, in the presence of an Alexa, about possibly needing a new refrigerator. Neither of them had done any online searching for fridges, but ads for refrigerators started showing up on their phones.
 

kreteknose

Active member
Apr 2, 2023
554
213
Were any of you having these discussions in the presence of an Alexa or Siri device?

I heard someone on a tech podcast talking about how she and her husband were having a discussion in their kitchen, in the presence of an Alexa, about possibly needing a new refrigerator. Neither of them had done any online searching for fridges, but ads for refrigerators started showing up on their phones.
No Alexa, and we don’t use Siri on iPhones
 

chypre

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 10, 2006
1,857
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Were any of you having these discussions in the presence of an Alexa or Siri device?

I heard someone on a tech podcast talking about how she and her husband were having a discussion in their kitchen, in the presence of an Alexa, about possibly needing a new refrigerator. Neither of them had done any online searching for fridges, but ads for refrigerators started showing up on their phones.
Only phones for me.

I know our home assistants are always listening, we've had many instances of ours "mis-hearing" things and piping up in the middle of our conversations. I don't expect our phones to be listening, though I guess we have voice-activated features on our phones too.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
8,706
3,624
The key question is were any searches for that perfume done on her computer or phone.

If yes, that is not unusual. It is not as "Big Brother is watching" as some want to believe. I did some searching for some dental procedures and next day, dental procedure offers were in my Facebook feed. I like Charles Tyrewhitt shirts. If I visit their website, ads for things I looked at will show up in my Facebook feed. I'm with saminlondon. Not that freaky. They are identifying your IP address with a website you visited.

I hear and read some of the "we were only TALKING about it and suddenly an ad showed up." I will believe that sort of thing if and when it happens to me and not until.

This isn't a tech forum, so enough about that.
 

kreteknose

Active member
Apr 2, 2023
554
213
She was then shown an ad for an online fragrance store, where the first three perfumes shown were three I was looking at, and I had not been heavily searching for the third.
 

The Cologne Cabinet

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Basenotes Plus
Jul 22, 2014
2,490
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She was then shown an ad for an online fragrance store, where the first three perfumes shown were three I was looking at, and I had not been heavily searching for the third.
Yes, FB is tracking your search history via your IP address. Use a VPN if you want to eliminate this from happening again.
 

Pippin06

always learning--often laughing
Feb 8, 2017
4,384
21,762
Stories like this push me further and further toward getting rid of my computer, as well as my smart phone, and returning to the simple life.
 

LinePlaneVolume

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
938
757
Were any of you having these discussions in the presence of an Alexa or Siri device?

I heard someone on a tech podcast talking about how she and her husband were having a discussion in their kitchen, in the presence of an Alexa, about possibly needing a new refrigerator. Neither of them had done any online searching for fridges, but ads for refrigerators started showing up on their phones.
If this were actually happening, it would be a massive scandal. Were they seeing these ads on Amazon dot com or were they showing up on random websites?

Could it also be possible that they had given microphone permission to certain apps on their phone? That's more likely the case. If digital assistants start marketing on things "heard" while the microphone is "off", versus something that happens when it's accidentally woken, it would be big trouble for the product.
 

CookBot

Flâneuse
Basenotes Plus
Jan 6, 2012
15,188
35,787
If this were actually happening, it would be a massive scandal. Were they seeing these ads on Amazon dot com or were they showing up on random websites?

I don't know the answer to that.

Probably heavily driven by cookies. It probably doesn't matter which account you're logged into, the tracking cookies are mashing everything together.

If cookies are talking to each other across accounts, I haven't heard about it. But if it's possible, I'm sure some marketer is doing it.

I only access the web through a VPN, always use Firefox Private browser with Ghostery and uBlock turned on, never use a voice assistant, and I haven't seen an online ad in years.
 

Diddy

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Oct 14, 2015
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It’s long been admitted by big tech and well documented that devices can always be listening. Any device that responds to you has to always be listening so that it knows when you’re speaking to it. It can’t have ‘selective hearing’ because it isn’t programmed to ‘think’ and decide what it should have manners about, but it is programmed to selectively respond.

A coworker has Alexa and Google Assistant turned on all the time, and she uses them. We recently were talking about some plants to purchase for our office. No internet searches were done. A verbal discussion between 3 people is all that took place. She then grabbed her phone to get store hours for a local nursery and when she unlocked her phone she first went to Facebook and observed ads for a plant sale at Home Depot and then some nursery ads. She looked at me and said - see how these dang things are always listening?

But this isn’t weird. It’s technology, and it’s what we are permitting it to do. If you permit the device to listen, then it will. And as long as the devices are emitting any radio signals, they can be connected to and hacked from the outside as well unless you have countermeasures. The good news is that for 99.9% of the population, we are simply not important enough to hack into and there’s no need for panic. Turn Siri, Google Assistant, etc etc off and this phenomenon by and large goes away. Simple as that. What @CookBot outlined are additional good ways to protect your privacy while actually using the devices.
 

saminlondon

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2011
3,248
440
It’s long been admitted by big tech and well documented that devices can always be listening. Any device that responds to you has to always be listening so that it knows when you’re speaking to it. It can’t have ‘selective hearing’ because it isn’t programmed to ‘think’ and decide what it should have manners about, but it is programmed to selectively respond.

A coworker has Alexa and Google Assistant turned on all the time, and she uses them. We recently were talking about some plants to purchase for our office. No internet searches were done. A verbal discussion between 3 people is all that took place. She then grabbed her phone to get store hours for a local nursery and when she unlocked her phone she first went to Facebook and observed ads for a plant sale at Home Depot and then some nursery ads. She looked at me and said - see how these dang things are always listening?

But this isn’t weird. It’s technology, and it’s what we are permitting it to do. If you permit the device to listen, then it will. And as long as the devices are emitting any radio signals, they can be connected to and hacked from the outside as well unless you have countermeasures. The good news is that for 99.9% of the population, we are simply not important enough to hack into and there’s no need for panic. Turn Siri, Google Assistant, etc etc off and this phenomenon by and large goes away. Simple as that. What @CookBot outlined are additional good ways to protect your privacy while actually using the devices.

The OP doesn't have any listening devices and doesn't use Siri. There's nothing here to suggest that anything or anyone is 'listening in'. Surely this is just a case of cookies doing what cookies do, annoying though it may be?
 
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