Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Google Watches You Shop Online...and Offline

Google watches your online shopping and announced last month that it will be watching what people buy in brick and mortar stores. Why? Because it wants to sell more digital advertising.

Google's new tool can track how much money people spend in merchants' stores after clicking on their digital ads.

Google gathers the information using data from apps, such as Gmail, Google Maps and those downloaded from the Google Play Store. They combine this information with the records of countless credit-card transactions. The company claims to have access to about 70% of U.S. credit and debit card transactions.

According to the Los Angeles Times, "The analysis will be done by matching the combined ad clicks of people who are logged into Google services with their collective purchases on credit and debit cards. Google says it won't be able to examine the specific items bought or how much a specific individual spent."

Google claims to protect customer data and doesn't collect or give businesses any information that would identify shoppers. Not businesses, but what about hackers?!

Some concerned with privacy are insisting government regulators find out how Google and other tech companies are gathering and using data from those of us who use their services. Let's hope they act soon!

Related reading: Take control of Google's interest-based ads

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