Google Signed a Secret Pact with Mastercard to Track Offline Buyers
Over a week after Google admitted the company tracks users’ location even after they disable location, history, it has now been revealed that the tech giant has signed a secret deal with Mastercard that allows it to track what users buy offline.
Recently, Google admitted that it tracks the location of the users. It was found that the Tech giant has entered into a secret deal with Mastercard, where the latter will provide the details of the users’ offline purchases and location.
The deal seems to have closed with Mastercard pocketing millions of dollars in exchange of this information.
Though the deal was disclosed by Bloomberg, there is no such statement from Google or Mastercard. The partnership is yet to be made public that the Tech Giant was into gauging retail spending habits of the user.
There are four people who are not identified yet has revealed that they had the knowledge of the deal. Google and Mastercard have reached the agreement after four years of rigorous negotiation, wherein all Mastercard transaction data in the U.S has been encrypted and transmitted to Google.
Google has packaged the data into a new tool for advertisers, called Store Sales Measurement, and currently being tested the tool with a small group of advertisers, allowing them to track whether online advertisements turned into real-world retail sales.
Last year when Google announced its Store Sales Measurement service, it only said the company had access to approximately 70% of U.S credit and debit cards through partners but did not reveal their names.
This suggests that not just Mastercard, Google has deals with other credit card companies as well, which total of 70% of the people who use credit and debit cards in the United States.
Nevertheless, as expected Mastercard has denied that the company provided personal information to any third parties. Here’s what a Mastercard spokesperson said in a statement: “Regarding the [Bloomberg] article you cited, I’d quickly note that the premise of what was reported is false. The way our network operates, we do not know the individual items that consumer purchases in any shopping cart—physical or digital.
However, it seems that users can reportedly opt out of offline ad tracking by merely turning off “Web and App Activity” in their Google account.
No individual transaction or personal data are provided. That delivers on the expectation of privacy from both consumers and merchants around the world. In processing a transaction, we see the retailer’s name and the total amount of the consumer’s purchase, but not specific items.”
Google also said it did “not have access to any personal information” from its partners’ credit and debit cards, nor do it “share any personal information” with its partners.
Without any doubt, the deal has been a boon for Google, as advertisers see much bigger returns and ready to pay more money to Google.
Julia Sowells960 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.