Friday, November 4, 2011

Your Credit Card Transactions Will Be Used To Target You With Web Ads

Next time you go to to a fast food restaurant you could go on the Internet half an hour later and see a weight loss ad on your favorite Web site.

Brought to you by your credit card company of course. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article (October 25, 2011), the two largest credit-card transaction companies, Visa and MasterCard have recently patented technologies that would utilize their massive consumer transaction databases to target consumers with online advertisements. Targeted online advertising is nothing new, but this could bring targeting to a whole new level. Most people either use a credit card or a debit card to make purchases. If a marketer knows exactly what you are buying, they can target you with exactly what you are interested in. As Visa puts it, "You are what you purchase."

Visa and MasterCard's technology patents have included details on how credit card transaction data would be linked with an individual's other behavior profiles, such as social network usage and even DNA databanks. Both companies claim that personal information would be "anonymized", but I have my doubts.
Be careful, the big companies are watching.


  1. ah! that explains BoA backing down on (visa/mastercard imprinted) debit card fees.

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