ads in gmail and your personal data

according to a google help article, "ads that appear next to gmail messages are similar to the ads that appear next to google search results and on content pages throughout the web. our goal is to provide gmail users with ads that are useful and relevant to their interests."

this morning, g. and i were emailing each other links to books having to do with the subject of happiness. i'm a happy person, and can roll pretty well with the occasional setback that comes along, but there isn't any harm in being happier, right? it was then that i noticed an ad served by google in my gmail that said "beware of garbage trucks."

at first i interpreted it literally and thought it had to do with – look both ways before you cross the street, b/c if you don't you could get mowed down by a truck, which once nearly happened to me in london. then you'll realize how good you had it. right?

a little bit curious and a bona fide sucker for targeted advertising, i clicked on the link and eventually found myself at amazon. the book hasn't been released yet, but it's now in my wish list along with this one reviewed by miss b.

for those wondering (i was), the good news is that no humans read your email. if there were any reading mine, they'd be bored to tears and/or confused esp. with the emails g. and i exchange with a very witty and charming couple in seattle. as the weekend approaches, our inboxes blow up with messages having to do with soccer, beer, hamburger helper, insects, and just this morning...cocktail-slurping squirrels and mine-sniffing rats.

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