Data Mining for Fun and Profit

Privacy spot

Tom Owad at has posted a detailed story on how he was able to use Amazon wishlists to profile thousands of people. By using the search function at Amazon, he accessed and downloaded over 260,000 publicly-available wishlists. He then searched the lists for "suspicious" books and authors, including Fahrenheit 451, Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, the Koran/Quran and, of course, Build Your Own Laser, Phaser, Ion Ray Gun and Other Working Space Age Projects.