Monday, September 3, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Google and Mastercard’s Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales

Mark Bergen and Jennifer Surane:

Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Mastercard Inc. brokered a business partnership during about four years of negotiations[…]. The alliance gave Google an unprecedented asset for measuring retail spending, part of the search giant’s strategy to fortify its primary business against onslaughts from Amazon.com Inc. and others.

[…]

“Before we launched this beta product last year, we built a new, double-blind encryption technology that prevents both Google and our partners from viewing our respective users’ personally identifiable information,” the company said in a statement. “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 people can opt out of ad tracking using Google’s “Web and App Activity” online console.

[…]

Since 2014, Google has flagged for advertisers when someone who clicked an ad visits a physical store, using the Location History feature in Google Maps. Still, the advertiser didn’t know if the shopper made a purchase. So Google added more.

Update (2018-09-05): Nick Heer:

It is worth noting that privacy was one of Apple’s goals for the design of Apple Pay. According to this Bloomberg report, the complete opposite was true of Google Wallet. As much as we view decisions by any companies as financially-motivated, we should remember to also think of Google’s moves — and those of credit card companies, data brokers, and so forth — as inherently creepy, invasive, and also likely not in the best interests of consumers.

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