How do these ads know where I live?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by bluebomberman, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #1
    I'm starting to see banner ads that show the name of the neighborhood I live in. (FYI: Whereas mail to Manhattan or Brooklyn is addressed as New York or Brooklyn respectively, mail to Queens is identified by neighborhood.)

    How is it possible for an Internet ad to know what part of New York City I live in? Do they look at the IP address?

    Creepy.
     
  2. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #2
    I don't think it's from IP address, cause I see a lot about Seattle, but I don't live in Seattle anymore. So it must be from some cookie somehow. I dunno :confused:
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #3
    Isn't it from your browser settings which are probably just your actual system settings? I know that's how F1.com tells you what local time the F1 races will be.
     
  4. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #4
    No, there is nothing in my system settings that ever said Seattle. It does say Cupertino or Los Angeles for the time zone... but not Seattle.
     
  5. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #5
    It can't be cookies, because I can reset Safari (which wipes the browser clean) and get the same result.

    Where in my system settings would I have my neighborhood ready to display on an ad banner? It's much more specific than catching my time zone.
     
  6. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    I believe it is from your IP address, which is visible to each web server you visit. Not all IP addresses can be looked up to neighborhood, but I think those banner ads are targeting the ads when they get a hit from an address in an IP range known to map to a specific location.
     
  7. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #7
    So why then does it get Seattle from my IP, which is definately not in Seattle?
     
  8. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

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    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #8
    Makes sense. I use Earthlink via Time Warner cable, so they probably divvy up IPs by zip code.

    Still, it's weird. Half the people in my neighborhood don't speak English as their primary language, plus it's not exactly a famous location (many New Yorkers never heard of it). Seeing an ad targeted at a neighborhood with over 50 nationalities represented makes little sense to me.

    Thanks for the reassurance, Doctor.
     
  9. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Because the data isn't accurate.
     
  10. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

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    Jan 21, 2005
  11. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #11
    Reminds me of this time...

    ...when Lucy Liu, while hosting Saturday Night Live a few years back, exclaimed that she's from Jackson Heights (a NYC neighborhood featured in the movie Maria Full of Grace and close to where I'm at). All she received was silence, because most of the audience had no idea where Jackson Heights was.
     
  12. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #12
    So it's just a weird coincidence that I used to live in Seattle?
     
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #13
    Or perhaps it's on purpose so it grabs your attention but doesn't freak you out.
     
  14. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

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    #14
    How far are you from Seattle now?
     
  15. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #15
    About 1,141 miles. a.k.a I'm living in an entirely different state.
     
  16. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

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    Queens, NYC
    #16
    Egads. I'm stumped.
     
  17. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    #17
    As far as I know, yes.
     
  18. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #18
    Yeah, me too.

    Very very strange!
     
  19. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a

    SummerBreeze

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    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #19
    That's so weird. I've never seen any L.A. targeted ads, which seems a bit weird since it's kind of a big city....It seems like someone, somewhere, is doing some reselling of person data.
     

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