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Google now links offline purchases

Categories : Cash protects privacy and anonymity
August 24, 2017
Tags : Anonymity, Card payments, Cash, Privacy and anonymity, Retailers, US
Google has now found a way to link your offline shopping to your online habits with the help of bank card providers and partner merchants. To avoid this surveillance of your shopping habits, the only way is to pay in cash.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

A few months ago, during its annual conference, Google unveiled a new tool enabling the company to track in-store purchases and link these to online advertising. With this surveillance tool, the company aims to estimate the efficiency of digital advertising and persuade retailers to increase their digital presence through online ads. The tool is now ready for use, so it might be time to say goodbye to your privacy.

To match offline purchases with online visits, Google must first identify users. To do so, the company uses login information, such as one’s email address, that can be detected when someone simply clicks on an ad. The aggregated data collected are then matched with those compiled by Google’s partner merchants and bank card providers to identify card holders. Consumers’ names, their location (thanks Google Maps) and the nature of the purchases are converted into strings of numbers to ensure anonymity and privacy.

Google declared to have partnered with third-parties covering 70% of the retail market. In other terms, if you make purchases with a credit or a debit card in the United States, there are two in three chances that your purchases were tracked and recorded. And that next time you visit Google, you will be assailed by advertising selected according to yesterday’s shopping spree. The system is based on card records only, leaving a backup solution for those wishing to safeguard their private life: hard cash.

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