Google and Mastercard in credit card data deal

Google has a secretive deal with Mastercard that lets it track whether the online adverts it shows to people lead to purchases in high street shops. The agreement allows the search giant to link the purchase histories of Mastercard customers to their ema

Last year, when Google first announced the Store Sales Measurement service, the company claimed to have access to "approximately 70 percent" of United States credit and debit cards.

This only happens if you were logged into a Google account when you clicked the ad and only if you purchase the product offline within 30 days of clicking the ad, Bloomberg says.

The deal on its own is bad enough, but nobody outside of the two companies apparently knew about it. Customers were not informed their offline spending habits were being shared with Google. With the tool, Google can match existing user profiles with purchases in stores providing advertisers with powerful data on which ads people clicked on and how it impacted their purchasing decisions.

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

Mr Seth Eisen, a Mastercard spokesman, declined to comment specifically on Google.

The revelation has raised questions about how much data Google is quietly harvesting without user knowledge.

And the reason why online ads have become so popular is that it's much easier to track the effectiveness of your ad campaign.

The report notes that many of Mastercard's two billion card holders are unaware of the arrangement between Google and the credit card company.

It is possible - even probable - that Mastercard is not the only company Google has such a deal with. It makes sense that Google wants this information-it gives them the ability to prove to customers that Google's ad service drives sales. The business partnership reportedly took about four years of negotiations, but Google never announced it publicly.

Mastercard denied suggestions that its data could be used to identify exact purchases.

The report also quoted a Google spokesperson saying the tool is now being used by a select number of advertisers in the United States.

A Google spokesperson didn't comment on the deal with Mastercard specifically but said that before launching the beta product past year, they developed a double-blind encryption technology to prevent both Google and its partners from viewing their respective users' personally identifiable information.

Mastercard has similarly stressed that no individual transaction or personal data changes hands, providing only the name of the retailer and total value of the purchase. The firms help advertisers and merchants predict consumer spending behavior using cardholder data.



Latest news

Brazil court bars Lula from running in presidential election
Under Brazilian law, Lula was deemed unable to run for the presidency after his conviction was upheld on an initial appeal. Lula reportedly chose Fernando Haddad, former mayor of São Paulo, to run for the PT should he be prevented from doing so.

Games - Korea soccer coach wants team to curb aggression against Japan
Skateboarding will debut on the sports program at the Olympics in Tokyo, with street and park disciplines on the schedule. China's Wang Qingling won silver with 5954 points, while Japan's Yuki Yamasaki took bronze with a tally of 5873 points.

Roxanne Pallett leaves Celebrity Big Brother house after domestic violence claim
The next episode of Celebrity Big Brother will air on Virgin Media Two / Channel at 10pm on Saturday 1 September. Ofcom confirmed it has received more than 11,000 complaints over the situation between Roxanne and Ryan.

Puerto Rico 2017 hurricane death toll raised to almost 3,000 from 64
Puerto Rico's governor on Tuesday raised the USA territory's official death toll from 64 to 2 ,975 after an independent study. The death toll for Hurricane Katrina, which battered the Gulf Coast in 2005, was more than 1,800.

Other news