In the digital age, privacy seems to be dwindling away piece by piece. In the 21st century, passwords, bank information, personal conversations and other private matters are at constant risk of being obtained by other users and businesses. As time goes on, it appears that privacy will be a thing of the past when it comes to online interactions. Furthermore, it appears that the privacy of one’s offline interactions may also be in jeopardy.
According to a report from Bloomberg, MasterCard and Google have allegedly formed a partnership that tracks the effectiveness of Google ads through records of in store purchases. The Bloomberg report describes the process beginning with a user logged into a Google account clicking on a Google ad. From there, the individual browses for a moment, but may not end up buying anything. However, their decision not to buy something online may be inconsequential. If that individual uses their MasterCard to buy that item in store over the next thirty days, Google allegedly sends a report to the advertiser that includes sections for ad effectiveness and “offline revenue”.
When confronted about the Bloomberg report, Google officials denied any partnership with MasterCard. However, Google did not specify whether they have access to records of offline purchases as they relate to Google ads. A Google spokesperson stated, “Before we launched this beta product last year, we built a new, double-blind encryption technology that prevents both Google and our partners from viewing our respective users’ personally identifiable information. We do not have access to any personal information from our partners’ credit and debit cards, nor do we share any personal information with our partners. Google users can opt-out with their Web and App Activity controls, at any time.”
If the report is true, it marks the beginning of a new age in technology and big business.