Google and MasterCard have jointly cut an ad deal to track your retail transactions.
So far, we only knew that Google can track out online shopping preferences as we clicked on ads. However, this is quite surprising that it can now keep track of our retail transactions history from brick-and-mortar outlets as well. This is done by monitoring credit card spending. This data provides Google an unprecedented edge over its many competitors including Amazon.
Understandably, Google and MasterCard are keeping this deal a secret, but, it is reported that it took them four long years to finalize the deal. When it was inquired from MasterCard whether the company will allow using the data to identify precise buying mannerisms of users, the company denied such a suggestion.
However, the very aspect that this type of data will be passed on to Google for advertising purposes in itself raises concerns because it is private financial data that is on display.
According to Myles Jackman, Open Rights Group’s legal director, Google is now capable of informing advertisers that people came to their actual outlets by clicking on online ads. If the company will be keeping some profits, it is yet unclear.
However, this is an unfavorable move according to many security experts. People would never want to share information about what they shop in real life. Sharing such private information is indeed a violation of basic human rights to privacy.
According to Bloomberg’s report, Google and MasterCard, the individual details of the shoppers won’t be included in their shopping profiles shared. MasterCard states that only transaction trends will be shared to gauge the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns of their affiliated service providers and merchants.
The information, as per MasterCard’s representative, will only include sales and average purchase volumes and not individual transactions or personal data.
“We do not have access to any personal information from our partners’ credit and debit cards, nor do we share any personal information with our partners.”
Google didn’t comment on this partnership yet but has introduced a new ads tool dubbed as Stores Sales Management, which its affiliated partners have been using since 2017. This tool allows retailers to keep track of their online ads performance in generating leads to their physical outlets in the US.
It is also not known whether Google has entered into similar deals with other payment firms or not. Bloomberg reports that the search engine giant has approached other mainstream credit card firms. Google already has admitted to having 70% of the entire credit and debit cards information of the US citizens that it receives via its partners. We can only say that Google knows a lot more about our spending activities than it should and it is unnerving.