Easy enough for this story to get lost in all the noise that is going on. Google was a no show in yesterday’s hearing. This no doubt was a major reason. It causes me to wonder if Comcast is not up to something similar. I watched a bit of golf for the first time in years. Not long after I was deluged with ads for golf clubs. Odd it would seem. Let’s keep this in mind as we tool around the universe each day.
The latest story about Google, the globe-straddling behemoth that accounts for more 90 percent of the Internet searches conducted every day, divulges just how much power that company wields, and just how careful we ought to be.
Yes, it can track your every move through your smartphone, and tell you how you just walked and where.
Yes, it places ads on the web pages you visit based upon online purchases, or even upon your searches.
And yes, it can track whether an ad pushed you to purchase something at the store.
Data Bought From Mastercard
Google gets that last piece of information from data it purchased from Mastercard, BloombergQuint revealed last week. “For the past year, select Google advertisers have had access to a potent new tool to track whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the U.S,” BloombergQuint reported. “That insight came thanks in part to a stockpile of Mastercard transactions that Google paid for.”
But most of the two billion Mastercard holders aren’t aware of this behind-the-scenes tracking. That’s because the companies never told the public about the arrangement.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Mastercard Inc. brokered a business partnership during about four years of negotiations, according to four people with knowledge of the deal, three of whom worked on it directly. The alliance gave Google an unprecedented asset for measuring retail spending, part of the search giant’s strategy to fortify its primary business against onslaughts from Amazon.com Inc. and others.
But the deal, which has not been previously reported, could raise broader privacy concerns about how much consumer data technology companies like Google quietly absorb.
Frighteningly, BloombergQuint reported, the service, called “Stores Sales Management,” gives Google access to about 70 percent of American credit and debit cards, which could mean one of two things.
That 70 percent could mean that the company has deals with other credit card companies, totaling 70 percent of the people who use credit and debit cards. Or it could mean that the company has deals with companies that include all card users, and 70 percent of those are logged into Google accounts like Gmail when they click on a Google search ad. More at