Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Google's Secret Deal With Mastercard Tracks Offline Spending

Google's Secret Deal With Mastercard Tracks Offline Spending

Now a new Bloomberg report claims something just as invasive - Google and Mastercard cut a secret deal which allowed the former to see whether an online ad resulted in an offline sale. The move is now raising privacy concerns about exactly how much information data technology companies like Google can tap into.

Alphabet's Google and Mastercard brokered a business partnership during about four years of negotiations, said four people with knowledge of the deal, three of whom worked on it directly. It used this information to develop a tool which would track whether a person who clicks on an ad goes on to buy the item offline. If you spend money on Google or Facebook ads, you can directly track the number of customers who end up on your online store because of your campaign.

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

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No individual transaction or personal data is provided.

Google, which is the world's biggest advertising company, has also confirmed that users can opt out by changing their settings in "Web and App Activity". Purchases made on Mastercard-branded cards account for some 25 percent of all credit card transactions in the USA, according to financial research firm Nilson Report.

We only provide merchants and their designated service providers trends based on aggregated and anonymized data, such as the merchant's average ticket size and sales volumes. But how comfortable are people knowing that Google, and Google's advertising customers, have access to this much information about their lives? A report from Bloomberg reveals that this was all made possible because of the deal between Google and Mastercard in the US- one that raises serious privacy questions. She said Google doesn't have access to the personal details of its partners' credit and debit cards, and, in turn, it also doesn't share the personally identifiable information that it does have.

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Google has quietly been providing select advertisers a "stockpile" of offline credit card transaction data.

"We do not provide insights that track, serve up ads to, or even measure ad effectiveness relating to, individual consumers", the company the. The company will then tell the advertiser that the item was purchased in a store, although Google and Mastercard say the data is anonymous in order to protect personal identities.

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