Because You Watched…

because you watched

Reading Yoav Aner’s blog this morning I’m reminded how many applications, particularly the mobile variety, have the capacity to creep us out by appropriating our personal information. Whether it’s compiling recommendations based on our usage behaviour, accessing our physical location, or trolling our contact list, the expectation is that our software experience is somehow enhanced by the unscrupulous broadcast of our personal information.

Netflix is a prime example of a service that tries way too hard with the concept of personalization. Not really creepy, just more of an annoyance.
If I happen to watch an episode of Doctor Who Netflix starts filtering my menu with list after list of science-fiction related movies and TV shows.

Because you watched… Conan the Barbarian our clever algorithms have determined you’ll be interested in seeing Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise. Really? I’m curious, what’s the logic behind these seemingly arbitrary recommendations.

Because your 7-1/2 year old son logged in under your profile and watched an episode of Transformers: Rescue Bots we think you’ll be interested in watching… The Smurfs.

Because you watched… Waiting for Lightning, the documentary covering the life of legendary skateboarder Danny Way, here’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Walking Dead, and Jack Reacher.

Here’s what’s popular on Facebook:  Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Walking Dead, and (surprise surprise) Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise.

Ok, Netflix really thinks I should watch Jack Reacher.

Please no. Stop it. Stop trying to learn what I’m interested in viewing. Please just allow me to search by genre (PS3 interface) and decide for myself.