Google is Referencing Credit Card Transactions to See if Online Ads are Effective

Google makes billions of dollars every single year on online advertisements so it is ideal for the company to know if they’re effective or not. When it comes to an online advertisement for an online website, it’s easy to track and measure the conversion rate. Google has been doing this for years but lately they’ve been getting a lot of ad money (especially on YouTube) from advertisers who may not specifically want you to buy a product in an online retailer.

You can think of companies that sell sodas, automobiles and a lot of others who are falling into this category. Not many people buy Coca-Cola online, but they could get the urge to go buy one after seeing an online ad a few days ago. The same can be said about buying a new car. Virtually no one is buying brand new cars online but if Google could prove that online ads are effective enough to translate into in-store transactions then they can present that data to more advertisers.

This is what Google has been working on for a while and they’ve been doing this by checking billions of credit card transactions. While this step is huge for Google and just about any other advertising agency who sells ad space online, it’s also made a lot of privacy advocates pay attention and start to worry. This may not be a big deal if Google was more transparent about how this system works, but even today they have refused to come out and say what companies they’re working with to analyze the data.

Some would even feel more safe if it was Google who was analyzing the data but that isn’t how this is done. Instead, they’ve partnered with companies who say they have access to 70% of every single credit and debit card transaction that happens in the United States. Still, Google says they held off on deploying this new system for years until it met their own “stringent user privacy requirements.”

Source: The Washington Post

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