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Google has announced its intention to track billions of transactions to allow advertisers to see whether online ad campaigns generate offline sales.
Google stated with “third-party partnerships” it already captures 70% of credit and debit card transactions in the US.
A custom encryption technology is used to ensure users’ data remains private and secure. It will not have details about what the individual spent – instead they learn the value of all purchases in a certain time period.
Some critics have said this new service is another blow to privacy.
Separate monitoring product was also announced in a blog post by Google saying “this is the first time, Google Attribution is making it possible for every marketer to learn about how their marketing strategies has impacted across devices and cross-channel – all in one place.”
Google has massive amount of user data, gotten from their services like AdWords, DoubleClick Search and Google Analytics which uses the details of items searched on Google and displayed ads on devices.
Google can also determine whether a user has searched for a product advertised on its device and has gone to a local store to purchase it, by collecting information from devices using the phone location. “Within three years, advertisers globally have measured over five billion store visits,” it said.
The Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Marc Rotenberg said, “What’s really fascinating to me is that as the companies become increasingly intrusive in terms of their data collection, they also become more secretive.”
Google has given users the option to opt-out of these service by navigating to the ad setting page to uncheck the box that says: “Also use Google Account activity and information to personalize ads on these websites and apps and store that data in your Google Account”.
Users also has the option to disable personalization for all ads by google. And they can also pause or have their location history deleted.
Advertisers want data to better match their products to your needs – however, if you don’t want your shopping habits to be monitored, don’t give out your phone number or email address for a digital receipt, avoid loyalty cards and choose to pay with cash whenever possible.