Does Google track where I'm from with cookies? March 20, 2004 9:09 AM   Subscribe

This is only tangentially related, but I'm curious - I used Google's new local search features, and this morning the Google ads on the home page had a couple local interest items in them for Los Angelenos like myself. I imagine my location has been cookied and now my visits to every site that runs Google text ads is logged as a visit by that guy from 90024... can anyone verify that? Also, curious if this means ads for product categories I've googled will soon start following me from blog to blog based on individual user recognition.
posted by jonson to MetaFilter-Related at 9:09 AM (8 comments total)

I think it's broken. It says "local" but all I get stuff from a foreign country to the south of me.
posted by timeistight at 3:04 PM on March 20, 2004

you are a target market.
posted by quonsar at 4:32 PM on March 20, 2004

I have a great idea for an application. We'll call it "CookieSwap". You download it to your machine like any other peer-to-peer app. Then it randomly swaps cookies with other machines running CookieSwap, except for domains (incoming or outgoing) you specify as no-nos.

I think I recall that google said they use cookies only for tracking search preferences, not searches themselves. Whether we can trust that is another matter, but there you go...
posted by weston at 7:42 PM on March 20, 2004

posted by quonsar at 8:54 PM on March 20, 2004

posted by jmd82 at 8:55 PM on March 20, 2004

On the other hand, especially if you have cable or DSL, people can usually deduce your location from your IP address. For instance, every time I log into the Open Directory Project, it recognizes me as logging in from "America/Los Angeles", because that is where my IP address appears to be coming from. I don't see much suspicious there.
posted by calwatch at 10:33 PM on March 20, 2004

calwatch, those of us in countries other than the US see the same thing with Google - it I type into the address bar of my browser, it redirects to based on, I assume, my IP address.

CookieSwap sounds like a brilliant idea! Especially if someone accidently includes their MeFi cookies so we can all have fun posting as them.
posted by dg at 2:12 PM on March 21, 2004

The problem is that I have little idea how to write any sort of peer-to-peer app whatsoever. Also, I'm probably pitiful when it comes to desktop development whatsoever.

Any network or gui geniuses in the house?
posted by weston at 7:37 PM on March 21, 2004

« Older Update to the drunk friend thread   |   strange relationship between posts and the... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments