Privacy: Using Credit Cards to Target Web Ads
What the hell? This is capitalism run seriously amok.
Keep an eye on the Ayn Rand loving members of the GOP as I’m sure they’d love this.
“In one particularly futuristic idea, a Visa patent application published this year describes incorporating information from DNA databanks…”The two largest credit-card networks, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., are pushing into a new business: using what they know about people’s credit-card purchases for targeting them with ads online.
Their plans, if implemented, would represent not only a technological feat—tying people’s Internet lives with shopping activities—but also an erosion of the idea of anonymity on the Web. It’s an effort by the two companies to profit by selling access to the insights they gather about people with every credit-card transaction.
The technology is still evolving. According to ad executives briefed on some of the ideas, a holy grail would be to show, for instance, a weight-loss ad to a person who just swiped their card at a fast-food chain—then track whether that person bought the advertised products. Currently, Web ads generally are based on a person’s online behavior but not information tied to his or her identity or activities in the brick-and-mortar world.
In one particularly futuristic idea, a Visa patent application published this year describes incorporating information from DNA databanks, among other personal details, into profiles that could be used to target people online. […]
“We are taking it a level deeper…it is a much more precise targeting mechanism.”MasterCard’s proposal would have unleashed detailed insight into people’s lives that is largely not available elsewhere. “There is a lot of data out there, but there is not a lot of data based on actual purchase transactions,” said Susan Grossman, group head of media solutions at MasterCard Advisors, in an August interview. “We are taking it a level deeper…it is a much more precise targeting mechanism.”
MasterCard, which confirms its document was shared with at least four companies, now says it has “put aside” that idea because of restrictions over how financial-services companies can use customer data. The company says the document was created in April for “exploratory conversations.” […]