Friday, May 26, 2017

Google & Surveillance Capitalism: Tracking Off Line Purchases

Of course, you can count on Google to do nothing to protect your privacy, despite their claims.
 Since, Google is breaching and exploiting your privacy by tracking your off line purchases and connecting them to your "on line profile" 




Google’s new ability to match people’s offline credit card purchases to their online lives is a stunning display of surveillance capitalism in action.
The capability, which Google unveiled this week, allows the company to connect the dots between the ads that it shows its users and what they end up actually buying. This is a crucial link for Google’s business that, for all of the company’s inventiveness, remains a matter of attracting users to its predominantly free services, collecting user data, and leveraging that data to sell advertising. If Google can show that someone who saw an ad for a furniture store in Google Maps, say, then went and made a big purchase at that store, the store’s owner is much more likely to run more ads.
Of course, Google has been able to track your location using Google Maps for a long time. Since 2014, it has used that information to provide advertisers with information on how often people visit their stores. But store visits aren’t purchases, so, as Google said in a blog post on its new service for marketers, it has partnered with “third parties” that give them access to 70 percent of all credit and debit card purchases.
So, if you buy stuff with a card, there’s a less than one-in-three chance that Google doesn’t know about it.
 Beyond that, us regular folks pretty much have to take it on faith that this system works. Given how few “anonymous” data points are required to identify an individual from credit card data, it’s hard to believe that linking people’s behavior on services as diverse as Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and others to offline buying habits couldn’t result in someone’s privacy being compromised, especially if it ever fell into the hands of hackers"

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