Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Google and Mastercard are secretly tracking your offline purchases

Google and Mastercard are secretly tracking your offline purchases

Essentially, this program gives Google data that would connect the dots between someone interacting with an ad for a product and then purchasing it in a store within 30 days. That's not information the majority of people would be comfortable with Google having access to, let alone advertisers, especially when it was scraped from what should be a trusted source: your credit card company.

Google confirmed that the service only applies to people who are logged in to one of its accounts and have not opted out of ad tracking.

For Google, this is just another step in bridging the gap between online ads and offline sales.

Google in pitching the solution to advertisers said there is no costly integrations or time-consuming setup on their end and that they don't need to share any customer information. The advertiser, however, did not know if the shopper made a purchase.

Google also has deals with several third-party companies that process card transaction data.

The company also said consumers can opt out of ad tracking by using Google's Web and App Activity online console. Purchases made on Mastercard-branded cards account for some 25 percent of all credit card transactions in the United States, according to financial research firm Nilson Report.

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Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will oversee on the issue was not engaged in formal negotiations. Juncker met Trump at the White House on July 25 when the U.S.

Last year, when Google announced the service, called Store Sales Measurement, it said only that it had access to "approximately 70 per cent" of U.S. credit and debit cards through partners, without naming them. The business partnership reportedly took about four years of negotiations, but Google never announced it publicly.

Google have declined to comment on the partnership with Mastercard, but stated that its new double-blind encryption technology prevents both Google and its partners from viewing personally identifiable information for users.

Mastercard told the BBC it offers its own "media measurement services" to retailers, in which the merchant provides advertising campaign details and it supplies spending data for the duration of the campaign.

Mastercard says that no individual transaction or personal data is handed over, adding that the way that it's network operates means that it does not know the the individual items that a consumer purchases in any shopping cart - physical or digital.

"No individual transaction or personal data is provided", Eisen said in a statement. But Christine Bannan of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre told Bloomberg that this burden shouldn't rest on unwitting consumers.

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