Watchdog Group Files Complaint Over Google Tracking In-Person Purchases
A privacy watchdog group has filed a complaint with the FTC over Google’s system for tracking purchases Internet users make in person, at physical store locations.
Google announced the new service — a way for advertisers to measure the effectiveness of an online ad campaign — in May. It combines Google’s search and app records with credit card purchase data acquired from third-party sources. “We invested in building industry-leading privacy protections before launching this solution,” the company tells NPR in a statement. “All data is encrypted and aggregated.”
The Electronic Privacy Information Center is concerned that Google’s methods, the details of which are not public, may not sufficiently safeguard users’ privacy. The center, also known as EPIC, is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.
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“Google claims that they don’t know who the users are, that they are being de-identified,” says Marc Rotenberg, the president of EPIC. “We want the FTC to take a closer look.”