In the era of internet, privacy breaches and invasive data collection, it has become more than normal to find one of the big technology companies held accountable for unethically using their customers’ personal data, almost every other day. What’s even worse is that these companies, instead of curbing their activities, are taking major strides forward to increase them to achieve their objectives. The latest company to steal the spotlight for the same is Google. Reportedly, Google has made a secret deal with MasterCard in order to gather data regarding offline purchases of their customers. but, this hasn’t surprised me at all.
The Google Mastercard Deal: RIP Privacy
Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and almost all the other major Internet companies have always been involved in collecting data regarding the online activities of their customers, one way or the other. However, no such company had made a foray into the tracking of the offline activities of their customers to gather data, until now. The Google Mastercard deal allegedly involves the latter to share their customers’ offline shopping data. Google has been receiving the details of these transactions, and then link to the Google accounts of its customers. This helped Google showing more relevant ads, which translate into higher Ad revenue.
Apparently, the Sundar Pichai led company had been in negotiations with the American Financial giant for a period of four years to get the deal over the line. The deal, however, has been kept extremely secretive, even after all these revelations. But certain specifications of the deal have emerged anyhow. As a result of customers’ data sharing, it allowed Google to measure retail sales more efficiently, which has helped it form better strategies to combat arch rivals like Amazon in their space. On the other hand, MasterCard pocketed millions of dollars as a part of the deal, including a share of the ad revenue generated because of the data.
Google Have Access To 70% Credit/Debit Cards
Google hasn’t been shy to throw light on their deals with financial companies. Last year, the internet giant admitted to having access to about 70% of all credit cards and debit cards through their partners. Although they failed to clarify which 70% they were actually talking about then, this fueled a lot of speculations regarding how much of our private information is actually available with Google. When asked about this deal, representatives of both companies either gave forth inconclusive statements or refused to comment at all.
But a MasterCard spokesman did admit that they do share the certain trends of transactions prevalent at the time to a couple of partners, to help boost their ‘advertising campaigns’.
The deal brought forth a couple of contradictions on the part of Google’s recent activities and their previous statements. The company had once previously made the statement, “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.” But when asked about the same after the emergence of recent details, they refuse to comment.
The above-mentioned Google Mastercard deal gives testament to the fact that the writing’s on the wall. We, along with our data, are not safe. We are at the mercy of these big technology giants, who don’t feel the need to mend their ways even when exposed. Hopefully, this seemingly dark future will find it’s light of justice pretty soon.