Google Is About To Start Tracking Your Offline Behavior, Too

By Josie Wales

It’s no secret that Google already monitors its users’ online shopping activity, but now it will follow them out of their homes and keep a close eye on every interaction they make. The tech giant announced a new system to track users’ in-store credit card purchases Tuesday in a statement published on the company’s official blog.

Google rolled out the new tool at Google Marketing Next, an annual event geared toward advertisers where the company unveils its newest innovations in marketing. “Store sales management” works by pulling data from Google’s third-party partnerships, which capture approximately 70% of credit card transactions in the United States. The system then streamlines user information in order to generate reports automatically sent to merchants who opt in. The reports will measure the effectiveness of online advertisements by matching in-store transactions back to Google ads.

According to the Associated Press:

Google says its computers rely primarily on log-in information, such as email addresses, to identify the people clicking on ads. It then matches that data with other identifying information compiled by merchants and the issuers of credit and debit cards to figure out when digital ads contribute to an offline purchase.

This is ultimately an upgraded version of Google’s “store visits measurement,” which was rolled out in 2014 and updated in March 2017. This tool utilizes deep learning technology to analyze vast amounts of user data, including email addresses, ad clicks, browser and location history, and user surveys.

Miro Copic, a marketing professor at San Diego State University, told the Associated Press that “the privacy implications of this are pretty massive, so Google needs to tread very carefully.”

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4 Comments on "Google Is About To Start Tracking Your Offline Behavior, Too"

  1. You can just not go along with their schemes.

  2. Grace by Faith on yt | May 27, 2017 at 8:09 am | Reply

    So where did they get the authority to do this? Did they just pull it out of their bums? LOL YES. It’s just more fraudulent manufactured consent (done by their legally unconscionable fine print no one reads). I think we all know where we’re heading (cashless), so before that happens, how about we toss wrenches into their little scheme by using only cash? This would be just for retail purchases, not bills, and I’d take out enough for the whole month at once (which will cause their wee computer chip brains to implode). While this won’t stop them, it will cause chaos for them which is precisely what they’ve been deploying on us since time immemorial. 😉

    • Just 3% of the US money supply is created as paper bank notes that are labelled “Federal Reserve Notes” printed by an arm of the US Treasury.

  3. It’s no big secret. I buy a lot of Woolly Socks.

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