Google Announces New Tech That Connects Your Online Behavior to Real World Purchases
Google has developed a new system which uses access to billions of consumer credit card transactions along with the multitude of data if collects from its other products to prove that its ad serving platform, AdSense, is effective in prompting you to buy at brick and mortar retail stores.
The megalithic company recently said that the new system creates digital trails for individuals, following them from their search boxes and email inboxes to actual stores, knowing when and where people are buying what.
While the advance is being hailed as the revolution of online advertising, as it ‘closes the loop’ between online and offline behavior, this is an admission of serious new surveillance capacities.
“The advance allows Google to determine how many sales have been generated by digital ad campaigns, a goal that industry insiders have long described as “the holy grail” of online advertising. But the announcement also renewed long-standing privacy complaints about how the company uses personal information.
To power its multibillion-dollar advertising juggernaut, Google already analyzes users’ Web browsing, search history and geographic locations, using data from popular Google-owned apps like YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps and the Google Play store. All that information is tied to the real identities of users when they log into Google’s services.
The new credit-card data enables the tech giant to connect these digital trails to real-world purchase records in a far more extensive way than was possible before.” [Source]
Remarkably, Google is also saying that it can do this type of data mining and tracking even without the use of location tracking technology in smartphones and handheld devices. Leaving your phone at home won’t prevent them from making a connection between your online activity and your whereabouts via your shopping habits.
“Tuesday’s announcement gives Google a clearer way to understand purchases than just location and allows them to understand purchase activity even when consumers deactivate location tracking on their smartphones.”
Technology is moving far faster than our cultural ability to understand and prepare for the implications with such rapid advancement. It moves much faster than the speed of law, and by the time the general public gets wind of a new technology being used on them, its use is already ubiquitous.
While advancements like these are indeed fascinating, they are also disturbing, especially in the context of a near-future cashless society, where all transactions between human beings are monitored and tracked by government and all-seeing corporations.
Naturally, though, Google wants you to know that they have your best interests at heart and that they are doing everything they can to make sure that only they have access to the history of your every thought and move.
“Google executives say they are using complex, patent-pending mathematical formulas to protect the privacy of consumers when they match a Google user with a shopper who makes a purchase in a brick-and-mortar store.” [Source]
Read more articles from Terence Newton.
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