Monday, March 31, 2008

An unexpected catch to Amazon's wishlist

A Japanese blogger reports on her surprise at how the default setting for Amazon’s wishlist leaves your full name and email address open to the public. To begin with, Japan has no custom of listing the things they want before an event (such as bridal registry, or a present list for birthdays or holidays). There is no equivalent word for “wish list” in Japanese, and in fact recently changed the name of the wish list from “wish list” in English to “list of things I want” in Japanese. The author of the blog worries that the default setting of Amazon leaving all information open to the public will not be compatible with Japanese society, currently obsessed with private information leakage and protection. Internet has permeated modern society to the extent that each nation has developed its own internet culture—MNCs now must be savvy of the subtle differences in each country’s internet culture as well as their culture in the traditional sense.

-Watson Institute for International Affairs Research Assistant

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