Google and Mastercard in credit card data deal

Google and Mastercard in credit card data deal

They have no idea that the offline purchases they make in stores are being tracked by Google to check whether their buying habits are influenced by online ads.

Last year, Google announced the Store Sales Measurement service, through which Google said it collected approximately 70 per cent of USA credit and debit card transactions through third-party partnerships, without saying who those partnerships were with.

The report stated that chief of Google's advertising division, Sridhar Ramaswamy, first introduced the product in a blog post but made no mention of its deal with Mastercard in it.

Google reportedly paid Mastercard "millions of dollars" to access the data, and the companies even discussed sharing a portion of the ad revenue, though the deal between the two seems to have fallen through. Google will generate a report on the purchase and feed it to the advertiser who ran the online ad you initially clicked on.

Both Google and Bloomberg say the data is anonymised, meaning purchase histories can not be linked back and used to personally identifiable information, including your billing address, name, age, or other details held by the two companies. "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", the company said in a statement.

The "service", as Google calls it, applies only to those who are logged into their Google Accounts while browsing, which, considering the ubiquity of the company's online services, including the most widely used browser in the world, would be a great number.

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The company also said consumers can opt out of ad tracking by using Google's Web and App Activity online console.

"Before we launched this beta product previous year, we built a new, double-blind encryption technology that prevents both Google and our partners from viewing our respective users" personally identifiable information, ' a Google spokesperson told MailOnline.

The company constantly tracks what you click on if you have a Google account - which includes anyone with a YouTube or Gmail account.

We now know that Mastercard was one of the partnerships, with others possibly, as well.

To me, that reads as "yes, we did do a deal to access this offline spending data, but don't worry, it's all anonymous".

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. Personal data or details of individual transactions are not shared. The firms help advertisers and merchants predict consumer spending behavior using cardholder data. In processing a transaction, we see the retailers name and the total amount of the consumer's purchase, but not specific items.

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