Google and Mastercard in credit card data deal

Google and Mastercard in credit card data deal

The tool largely flew under the radar although Google's admission that it captures approximately 70 percent of credit and debit card transactions in the U.S. probably should have raised some red flags.

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. They clearly failed to convince Mountain View to do something about it, and the company will likely need a more compelling reason than a few employees raising objections.

Google paid Mastercard, reports Bloomberg, for access to stash of Mastercard transactions which it could then feed into its analysis systems.

It added that people can opt out of the program using Google's "Web and App Activity" controls.

The data Google collected as part of the partnership allowed it to design a tool for advertisers that broke down whether people who clicked on an advert online later went on to purchase the advertised product inside a brick-and-mortar store.

Mastercard has also denied it provided personal information to any third parties, saying that it only offers merchants and service providers "trends based on aggregated and anonymized data".

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The report stated that Google's advertisement business hit $95.4 billion in 2017, and is growing at 20 percent a year. Google has reached out to other payment companies but it is not clear if any Mastercard type deals were inked.

In a statement, Google said that it built a "new, double-blind encryption technology that prevents both Google and our partners from viewing our respective users' personally identifiable information".

The setting is enabled by default, and controls whether Google can link your browsing history to your Global Positioning System location.

The company constantly tracks what you click on if you have a Google account - which includes anyone with a YouTube or Gmail account. It makes sense that Google wants this information-it gives them the ability to prove to customers that Google's ad service drives sales. Though Mastercard has been confirmed to be a part of that 70 percent metric, there are likely other financial service companies in the United States that have participated as well. It wasn't clear at the time who or what the partnerships were.

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.

'No individual transaction or personal data is provided. The firms help advertisers and merchants predict consumer spending behavior using cardholder data. Next, the user browses a certain item and doesn't purchase it.

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