Google are about to start tracking credit card purchases, and not just online, when you physically go into the shop too!
This is good news for advertisers but maybe not so good for consumers and privacy campaigners.
The scheme will initially be launched in the US and Google will be able to access credit and debit card data giving them more information about people’s spending habits, the Washington Post reported.
The move has led grave questions have been raised regarding Google’s apparent disregard of privacy.
Renate Samson of Big Brother Watch told the BBC: “The one thing people regularly state as ‘creepy’ online is when an advert follows them around the internet. These plans appear to extend ‘creepy’ into the physical world.
“If people want to avoid having their shopping habits monitored on the high street by Google, by shops or by banks they should restrict the amount of data they hand over.
“Companies track and monitor in order to advertise to us. If we don’t want them to do that, take control; don’t give your email address for a digital receipt, check the terms and conditions, avoid using loyalty cards and where possible choose to pay with cash.”
Google has earned £60 billion (THB2700 billion) in revenue from advertising in the last quarter alone. This new information will allow even greater targeted marketing believed to be more in line with consumer interests.
A Google spokesman responded to concerns saying that information from loyalty cards would only be used if consumers had given their permission for the data to be shared, which would likely be in the terms and conditions.
He said: “While we developed the concept for this product years ago, it required years of effort to develop a solution that could meet our stringent user privacy requirements.
“To accomplish this, we developed a new, custom encryption technology that ensures users’ data remains private, secure, and anonymous”.