Is last.fm leaking information to Google?

04Jul07

I use last.fm, which means in effect I’m giving up large ammounts of privacy — the kind of music I listen to — for the sake of social networking (which in the end I don’t use at all) and fun stats. And that’s okay; at least the terms of service assure me that

We won’t pass your email address on to anyone, not even Lars Ulrich at gunpoint.

Sure, it also claims that

We reserve the right to sell or license pseudonymous listening data for commercial use, however we will never sell your personal data that can be traced back to a specific user. We may, for example, license our weekly charts for commercial use. This would not compromise any personal information.

But then today I started getting ads in hebrew characters in my Gmail. I don’t ever receive or send emails with hebrew characters, or in Hebrew, or related to Israel in any kind or form.

gmail-hebrew.jpg

click for full size

As you can see, my Gmail is set to portuguese language, and except for automated newsletters most every email I receive or send is in portuguese. I’ve been intrigued for most of the day. Then, just fifteen minutes ago, a friend was complaining about an annoying message she had been sent on last.fm. I went there to check and saw this:

lastm-hebrew.jpg

click for full size

As you can see clearly on the right it says “Link patrocinado”, which means “Sponsored link”. It’s not a feed I subscribe to.

Of course, just this morning I dusted off a CD I had received as a gift when I was a teenager and ripped it to iTunes. The title on the cover says “Hava Nagila and other Jewish Melodies”, but the CDDB-derived title was written in hebrew characters.

And then the two things clicked. What kind of sinister coincidence is this?

About these ads


10 Responses to “Is last.fm leaking information to Google?”

  1. 1 Brandon S Allbery KF8NH

    I’d be tempted to guess they use Google Ads, and part of the agreement for that is to pass limited information in order to target the ads better. The, once it’s in their ad targeting stuff, anywhere else Google Ads can identify you it will use that contextual information.

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    Корпорация Мегаполиса Pi7.ru порадовала новым выходом очередного сборника нюансов.
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    Ну а впрочем лучшее лекарство от скуки это анекдотец.
    Вовочке сильно надоел урок русского языка.
    Он поднял руку и спросил:
    - Марья Ивановна, а ПОХ.Й пишется вместе или раздельно?
    За что его удалили из класса до конца учебного года. Чему он очень обрадовался.
    Но Мария Ивановна ушла в декрет, и язык начал вести старый, умудренный опытом
    Абрам Исаакович. Он позвонил родителям Вовочки и сказал, что тот опять может
    ходить на уроки.
    Вовочку это не устраивало, и на первом же занятии он спросил:
    - Абрам Исаакович, а ПОХ.Й пишется вместе или раздельно?
    - Это – когда как, – ответил старый учитель, – если, молодой человек, вы имеете
    в виду мое отношение к вашим закидонам – то вместе, а если глубину великой
    еврейской реки Иордан – то раздельно.

  4. 4 ktoki

    Привет! Приглащаю в Обнинский чат http://ktoki.ru/obninsk.html знакомств и общения.

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