How does my browser know I am Indian?

by | Thursday, August 07, 2008

Over the past few weeks I have noticed that some webpages I visit have banner ads that are targeted to me quite specifically – in particular to my Indian origin.

For instance this page (a story about ipods being used by the army) contains a set of banner ads that seek to find me a “perfect Indian partner in Michigan.” See the images below one from this page and another from a different website – whose URL I forgot to record.

I know they can figure out Michigan (or East Lansing) from my IP address – and I had seen these sort of geography-based targeted ads before. What surprised me about this latest set of advertisements is their focus on India. How did they figure that out? Is it because I follow some Desi Blogs (see blogroll on left?) or because I visit Indian news sites once in a while?

I wonder what advertisements other people are seeing when they visit these pages?

Combine this with how my browser history reveals my gender (something I had posted about earlier)… it just reinforces my thoughts on the end of practical obscurity.

And finally, just in case you think these guys know everything about me – that’s not really true. I am most emphatically NOT looking for any kind of matrimonial service… 🙂

A few randomly selected blog posts…


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