Google + Credit Card Companies [alert], [howto]

You know that Amazon knows enough about what you will be ordering before you even know it yourself:  that’s how Jeff Bezos knows what to put in his warehouses for same day or 2-hour delivery.

Now Google knows when and how much you spend in which store, if you use your credit card(s).  Using one credit card in one store and another card in the other, won’t hide a thing since all of them aggregate to google’s analytical warehouse of data on you.

From the article:

Google would not say how merchants had obtained consent from consumers to pass along their credit card information. In the past, both Google and Facebook have obtained purchase data for a more limited set of consumers who participate in loyalty programs. Consumers that participate in loyalty programs are more heavily tracked by retailers, and often give consent to share their data with third parties as a condition of signing up. (Not all consumers may realize they have given such consent, according to the digital privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation).

“Disposable Credit Cards” have been available for many years.   For example, since 2002 AMEX has had a program but they are not much help in avoiding tracking, if the credit card company knows you are the person making the purchase (although it does protect against fraud since the number cannot be reused).   Other options that come back through your credit card, like PayPal, protects your credit card from the merchant, but the credit card company has full visibility to what you bought when (couldn’t sleep?  do you like to shop for gadgets at 3am?).

What are your options?  Cash is king here.  And until Google buys into your bank as a “partner” maybe those old things called “checks” might still come in handy.   With online banking and having your bank send a check (electronically or paper by !oh my! postal mail), your payment is still made.