A couple of weeks ago we got this Netflix subscription. As far as I do watch TV, which is not quite often, I mostly do it via Internet (in which case you call the on demand variant of broadcasting not TV, but anyway). But the first night I watched on Netflix a music documentary. We have all our own log in, and up until today I logged in only once.
After a week I got this suggestion for a music documentary, which makes sense. Also because the music genre was similar. Yet another week later, maybe Netflix became a bit annoyed I did not log into them again, because other family members did not get suggestions, I got as a suggestion the documentary Deep Web.
Of course, I can be profiled based on this one documentary I saw and maybe some other details that I would like this Deep Web. But it is quite different from a music documentary, and my suspicion immediately was “how do they know I am an internet lawyer”? Or don’t they?
Why it was a bit creepy to me, is that during a Documentary festival two weeks ago I was in a panel discussing the Deep Web. This is open info, of course. It was the MoviesThatMatter festival.
Does Netflix know that much about me? Maybe I should ask them. The suggestion does also fit into what these dumb behavorial advertising algorithms do, suggesting you would want to buy the exact pair of shoes you just did or buy another plane ticket to the same city. They do not seem to understand that repetition not always makes sense. In this case: why watch a documentary I just watched.
Anyway, in our society ruled by datification we will be faced more and more by incidents like this. Sometimes correct suspicions, sometimes mere paranoia. (like the “random” checks at AH supermarket when you scan yourselve, that you can always predict based on what you purchased. If it is different from what you normally buy, you are always “randomly” checked.)