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Does Amazon sell our email addresses?

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Showing 1-25 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 1, 2011 12:15:49 PM PST
GoldDove says:
I recently bought a book about Secretariat, and now I'm getting junk email trying to sell me horse tack! The two events almost have to be related, as I don't have anything at all to do with horses, other than admiring this particular horse. Has anyone else had this happen, or am I just paranoid?

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:21:52 PM PST
tweet says:
I've not had any problems. BUT, if you need a horse, lemme know, I've got three you can have <G>

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:24:23 PM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
They do not sell our email addresses. I have never had any problems. You might want to check to see if you have any spyware or malware on your computer.

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:25:18 PM PST
Artist says:
I've never had problems with it. I can only imagine what kinds of tie-ins I'd get, since I've ordered some strange books (one about a serial killer).

I did start to get massive amounts of spam after I entered a contest on another site to try to win a Kindle DX. Now I have a separate e-mail account for inquiries and contests (if I even bother to enter those).

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:25:24 PM PST
I'd say its a cookie or even spyware that got installed into your computer.

Amazon protects the privacy of its users to the extent it got into lawsuits with a few states over the issue.

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:27:19 PM PST
GoldDove says:
I have my Norton set pretty tight, and cookies get deleted every time I close my browser. I'll take a look around though. Good suggestion.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2011 12:28:57 PM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
I would also get a spyware and malware remover if I were you. Antivirus will not protect from everything. I am so glad I use Linux. :)

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:31:54 PM PST
Carbonbased says:
I get tie-in emails after buying kindle books--from Amazon! "As someone who has bought X, we thought you might be interested in Y and Z." It's surprising to me how many of the books offered in these emails are not available in kindle format.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2011 12:33:45 PM PST
I use Malware Bytes and SpyBot. If I run into huge problems I use ComboFix. All free.

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:36:42 PM PST
Lisa Long says:
I use spybot and adaware

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:37:57 PM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
I don't use anything. Not even antivirus. :)

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:40:32 PM PST
SeaLevel274 says:
Is the "junk" email from Amazon?

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:41:11 PM PST
Artist says:
That explains a lot, Jeff. :-D

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2011 12:42:08 PM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
I use Linux. Don't need all the crap to protect my computer. It is great.

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 12:43:38 PM PST
L L. says:
I got square trade emails after buying some electronics at xmas , so I know somehow they have knowledge of what I'm buying.

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 1:43:37 PM PST
PF says:
They don't sell emails, but they do share tracking cookie data with their third party affiliates and partners. Target and Google are probably the biggest examples in addition to the Square Trade example L. Leverton posted above. Those companies will share Amazon's tracking cookies and know your browsing and purchase history unless you specifically opt out. You are not identified by name, address, financial data or email in those cookies. There is just a tracker showing that one computer user searched or bought certain items. The activity is not logged to a specific person, just the hardware you are using.

So Amazon does not supply them with your email address, but the Amazon tracking cookies have logged your IP address and a few other encrypted identifiers. If you have existing business relationships with those adverting partner sites, they have enough data to send targeted advertising to the email address you have on record with that company.

You can opt out of personalized advertising services so that affiliates and third parties do not get your tracking cookie information:

If you use Gmail, you also have to tweak the advertising settings on their end. Amazon uses Google Analytics as one of their personalized advertising partners. Just by using Amazon's site, you give permission for Google to track your browsing and purchase history. You have to opt out of allowing Google to forward offers from their own third party advertising partners to a Gmail account.

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 6:26:50 PM PST
GoldDove says:
@PF - Wow! Great information. Thank you. I'm off to follow your advice.

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 10:19:02 PM PST
Notey says:
Thanks for the useful information. I too will give it a try.

Posted on Mar 2, 2011 8:35:52 AM PST
Jennifer P says:
i was initially worried about this, so I added "+amazon" to my gmail account name (which anyone can do). So far I have never received any mail to "" account that wasn't from Amazon itself. Just another reason to use GMail for your primary mail account. Anyone with a GMail account can add "+whateveryouwant" to their gmail address to create multiple unique addresses that are delivered to your main gmail account.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2014 8:41:42 PM PST
Amazon DOES share our email addresses, and I have proof.

As background, I have my own Internet domain and can receive mail from as many email addresses as I want. For years I have been tracking the source of SPAM by making up a UNIQUE email address for everyone I give my email address out to. In Amazon's case, it's "amazon@<mydomain>". The ONLY entity that I have ever used that email address with is

The other day I received an email from Target, apologizing for their recent security breaches and offering me a year of free credit monitoring. The only problem is I have never done business with Target (except anonymously in one of their physical stores) and I have NEVER given them an email address. So how did this email get to me? You guessed it: it was addressed to "amazon@<mydomain>".

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2014 8:46:32 PM PST
Artist says:
I got that same e-mail. I think it's just another scam. It directs you to another e-mail address to get a code, and once you do, you've given them all of your personal info.

BTW, it's bad form to call up 3 year old posts. Start your own post next time.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2014 8:55:50 PM PST
Loz says:
Who cares? Spam is spam, it will always be there.

Oh and adding a post to a 3 year old thread is really poor form...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2014 9:06:39 PM PST
There was actually a genuine offer from Target as a result of security breaches, although there may well have been scam copies of it too - see for info.

But it doesn't really make sense for you to assume that Amazon sold your email address and that caused Target to send you the email. Target was sending those emails **to customers who shopped there with credit cards** using **information they had which was tied to the credit cards**.

Target does track the purchasing history of customers based on their credit cards, so unless you paid by cash when you shopped in the store it was not an anonymous transaction.

But anyway, a keystroke logger piece of malware on your computer, phone or whatever could easily capture and link your credit card info with that email address.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2014 10:03:17 PM PST
R. Wilde says:
"Target does track the purchasing history of customers based on their credit cards, so unless you paid by cash when you shopped in the store it was not an anonymous transaction."

Good point... was the "anonymous" transaction using an Amazon credit card and, if so, is that card associated with the "amazon" email address?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2014 11:01:12 PM PST
I hadn't thought of that link myself - given Amazon credit cards are only in the US, I always forget they exist :-)

But I think people often don't realise just how much of their shopping history can be tracked in this digital age. I don't have any real understanding of the whole coupon thing, but I know they're often sent to targeted people/addresses. So if you use that coupon, even if it's within a cash transaction your details can be linked to that purchase and cross-matched with other purchases where you *have* used a credit card.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  31
Initial post:  Mar 1, 2011
Latest post:  Jan 15, 2014

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