Sometimes I find this funny, especially when I continually see ads from something I just purchased off of Amazon from Amazon. Just in case I really needed multiple backups of every item I’ve ever bought.
Most of the times it’s annoying. My wife and I recently had our anniversary and she knew what I had gotten her. Ads on her phone for gifts I was searching for started popping up before the date. After I gave her the gift she told me and then showed me a ad for the exact thing I bought on her phone.
It’s yet another consequence of extending that journey beyond what was necessary and I believe that it is possible to configure retargeting ads to behave in a less invasive way. In your situation, it would be even worse if your wife decided to buy the same item you’ve bought as a gift because she saw it on her phone and liked it.
I think that that kind of ads will start becoming more “intelligent” as they evolve, but I don’t think that it will necessarily change for the best…
That’s strange; why would she be seeing ads for stuff you looked at?
Just because y’all share an IP address by virtue of using the same wifi router at home?
Reply All has a really good podcast which is asking if Facebook is spying on us with the microphone, but in it they talk about how profiles are linked for advertising. It’s pretty interesting. In my case, as others have said, I’m sure it’s just associating us with our IP.
The Reply All episode: https://www.gimletmedia.com/reply-all/109-facebook-spying
Ad networks are smart. Two profiles marked as strongly-connected (eg: usually share an IP that isn’t widely-used) is definitely enough.
I’m not sure I’d call ad networks smart, or they wouldn’t advertise recently-bought items; but in tracking people they do exhibit a low, unpleasant cunning.