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Amazon buys (and sells) data to/from DMPs. That data can (and often does) include a hash of your credit cards, all the e-mail addresses you go by, etc. Amazon can basically buy programmable ad inventory that says "I want to show this ad for chainsaws to kmonad" and the DMP resolves who 'kmonad' is through a variety of methods.

Realistically, the opsec you would need to have to avoid this would be astronomically inconvenient. These DMPs work off statistics, so they don't need to know 100% that this browser session is probably kmonad, just 70%. Maybe you have the same IP, OS version, browser extensions, cookie sets...

This is most likely. To take it one level further, since you bought something, it can be DLX data (or Oracle now) or some other purchase-based data (from Visa or Nielsen Catalina). Facebook can ingest these as custom segments to target. For instance, I can buy a data segment of past purchasers of Giant bicycles for $1 CPM that will be layered on whatever partner is integrated. With every "match" there will be drop off as one ID system needs to be matched with a separate ID system (i.e. FB <-> DLX, or Liveramp <-> Mobile App)

Right; I think it would really creep people out to know what data is available to target for advertising purposes and how deeply it goes.

Basically, there are a bunch of methods for tying your session back to your identity, and most DMPs will run through a good dozen or two. Most will fall back on geolocation patterns (which are surprisingly accurate themselves) but it's actually very hard to totally anonymize your internet activity. We are creatures of habit, but our patterns betray us. :)

But even with all that data, they still show irrelevant apps? In this case the user already bought the item and gets shown ads for it afterwards. That's very likely ineffective marketing. Is data mining this complex really worth it if the result is that bad?

I would bet that Amazon does this intentionally. I don't know their rationale, but they're a data-driven company so they wouldn't keep doing it if it didn't produce desirable results.

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