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Mastercard, Visa To Help Target Ads

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the you-are-the-product-being-sold dept.

Advertising 222

New submitter ThatsMyNick writes "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. 'A MasterCard document obtained by the Journal outlines some of the company's plans, which included linking Web users with purchases. According to document, the credit card provider said it believes "you are what you buy." ... Visa is planning a similar service, which would aggregate its customers' purchase history into segments, including location, to make ads more effective at appealing to people in a respective area.'"

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222 comments

If you have nothing to hide (0, Flamebait)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 2 years ago | (#37836724)

You have nothing to fear.
 

Re:If you have nothing to hide (2)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#37836856)

Personally they could post a list of all my visa purchases on a public website with my name right at the top and I wouldn't care.. but I can still understand why other people get upset about this kinda stuff.

Some people do have (perfectly legal) things they want to hide for whatever social or practical reasons.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#37836934)

Rather than hiding behind the fact that they probably won't do that, why don't you put your money log where your mouth is and post a history of all your credit card purchases in response to this post? Include times and locations.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#37837000)

Rather than hiding behind the fact that they probably won't do that, why don't you put your money log where your mouth is and post a history of all your credit card purchases in response to this post? Include times and locations.

I'm not trying to get in the middle of your specific spat or privacy terror, but isn't there an extremely practical problem now that MC and Visa can be used to pay medical bills, vs HIPPA and all that?

I'm sure they can figure out which billers to filter out, but it does bring up the point that its not just a tinfoil hat thing but a possible HIPPA legal violation.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#37837066)

Its a lot simpler to post a link to your blippy profile

There are people who volunteer for this. Financial equivalent of exhibitionism, or conspicuous consumption carried out to its logical conclusion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blippy [wikipedia.org]

Re:If you have nothing to hide (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#37837564)

Time and location I'd want to keep secret for largely practical reasons.

Specific restaurants I'd probably not care but I can see if someone was trying to avoid someone else how this may be an issue.

Other than that though, would be pretty damn boring. You'd find out I spend a lot on computer junk and play guitar .. I actually gave a short list later in this thread.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (1)

Kookus (653170) | about 2 years ago | (#37836996)

Dude, it looks like you just bought a diamond ring! Congratulations on getting married!!!
...

Oh, you haven't proposed yet? Well, good luck!

Re:If you have nothing to hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837040)

Oh you are already married!!! Perhaps you'd like a Motel 6 discount.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (2)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | about 2 years ago | (#37837062)

Actually, I partially agree with your sentiment. I worry more about privacy on the personal level and not on the corporate, world-spanning level. To clarify:
I don't give a rat's ass what Visa knows about me, and what Google collects about my searches and what info they get from it. Corporations want to spend millions of $$$ to harvest all my online activities and send me ads in my mail or on a site I visit? Let them have their fun. I don't give a damn. May they grow old and die chocking on their money, for all I care.
For me privacy is that only people I know can link my name to what I do (job, hobbies, friends, purchases, etc.). On this site, if you go through all my posts you can only find out which country I live in, my job and 1-2 of my hobbies, that's all. That's privacy. If some company aggregates all my actions on-line (or credit card purchases) in one big file, I don't mind; it's not like it's on some big bulletin board for my grandma to find.

Oh, and BTW, for years now I get ads and coupons in my monthly CC statement, usually targeted to stuff I buy, how is it different from what the summary mentions?

time date & location (2)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 2 years ago | (#37837124)

So... You're not home usually between X and Y. Bought a new TV, expensive computer, key hiding rock.

Information is power.

Re:time date & location (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#37837346)

Location and time information, yes, I would want to keep off such a public site for the kind of practical reasons you have highlighted.

The fact that I eat at a place called Marios on a fairly regular basis.. not too sensitive but if I had a stalker I might be concerned...

The fact that I buy stuff from newegg, tigerdirect, NCIX, dell (ok, that is somewhat embarassing..), mouser, have a subscription to jamplay, safari books, and have a vps with slicehost .. I have a hard time seeing this hurting me.

Either way, it's a good point. Once visa starts grouping this data together, it becomes worrying who it will be distributed to. Realistically the chances of it getting anywhere that's gonna effect me directly (I'm too damn boring) is unlikely, but it's still a point..

Re:If you have nothing to hide (3, Insightful)

Hope Thelps (322083) | about 2 years ago | (#37837420)

Some people do have (perfectly legal) things they want to hide for whatever social or practical reasons.

Some of us have 'things we want to hide' (or what we would cause 'a desire for privacy') for no social or practical reason, and find it weird that anyone would think that needs a justification.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#37836892)

Is there anyone who has nothing to hide?

You always have something to hide... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836932)

...from tyranny, and its proponents.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about 2 years ago | (#37837152)

I hope you're joking 'cause in this day and age some people actually believe that tripe.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#37837172)

In the not so distant future...

I can see MC and Visa getting sued for targeting somebody with a sex shop ad on a PG13 website in front of their family.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#37837270)

If you have nothing to hide

Funny how that concept got left out of the Consitution or any of the debates, letters, or treatises that shaped it.

Re:If you have nothing to hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837326)

Funny how this has absolutely nothing to do with the constitution. Or did it start applying to private companies recently?

Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836758)

Hello cash!

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#37836886)

In an envelope to some online store?

Biggest thing keeping me tied to visa is online shopping..

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37836968)

Can't you buy VISA/MASTERCARD gift cards with cash and use those? I guess they could get the name and address from the online store though.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#37837024)

You have to "activate" those by providing your name and address in order to use them at said online stores, so doesn't do much good.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37837132)

Why not provide BS for that? Give them the address of a public park and the name of a famous actor.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#37837366)

Unless you are planning on having it shipped to said famous actor at said park.. very few stores are going to send something to an address not matching the one on the card.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37837428)

Since when?
I buy all kinds of stuff on amazon and have it shipped directly to friends and family for their birthdays and holidays. I have never had any trouble. I have even done this with one time purchases at random websites for gifts before when amazon did not have the item.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | about 2 years ago | (#37837104)

All the gift cards I've used require some sort of registration with a name. Okay, so I've only used two types of gift card and that's a terrible sample size.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#37837058)

Well, here in Germany most online shops allow something called "Nachnahme" (I have no idea what it is called in English). Basically it means you pay to the postman on delivery. It costs something extra, but it has the big advantage that you don't pay before the product arrives.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 2 years ago | (#37837114)

COD (charge on delivery)
This practice in America is mostly dead now though.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#37837220)

the hell it is!

COD is one very effective way to deal with errant postmen. instead of dropping the box at your manager (apt buildings..) or neighbor or bushes, he MUST collect money for it.

in networking, we call that an ACK and it helps establish more reliability in the protocol.

works for postal guys, too ;)

even if you pay the bulk in check, still good to collect a dollar COD or some token amount so that it MUST be hand delivered.

neat trick, huh?. now, go enjoy your new postal balanced protocol exchange.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#37837510)

Very interesting...I actually thought COD was completely dead in the US.

Is this an option with amazon.com?

One drawback about it...generally (with me) there is no one home during the day when deliveries are made.

How do you get around that? Do you have a stay at home wife?

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

seandhi (1949778) | about 2 years ago | (#37837164)

Here, they call it C.O.D. - Cash on Delivery. Not many places offer it anymore, although I hope to see its resurgence with MC and VISA doing what they're planning to do.

Re:Goodbye Visa & Mastercard!! (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 2 years ago | (#37837388)

Cash on delivery (COD) exists in Australia through Australia Post but I have always considered it prohibitively expensive. For example the current rate is $8.05 + postage to send the item, $11.30 + postage to return the payment to you, and $16.50 if the delivery cannot be made. It adds nearly $20 to the price of an item but does provide a small transit insurance. I have never heard of anybody using COD here.

Do not want (3, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#37836782)

I'm for small government and as much a libertarian as anyone here, but this is one of those times where the government needs to step in and put some regulation in place.

We need something similar to the do-not-call-list thingie they did a few years ago for telephone numbers, where you opt yourself in and you don't get hounded at home from telemarketers.

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836854)

I don't know about you, but the "do-not-call-list" does not work.

Re:Do not want (2)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#37837002)

Here in Canada, it actually made the problem worse.. because they distributed the list rather indiscriminately to everyone "so they'd know who not to call"... including people who not only ignored it but used it as a calling list.

Re:Do not want (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37837044)

It seems like this sort of thing should be easy to avoid. Attach criminal penalties. The caller gets 1 hour in jail per minute on such calls, his direct boss gets 1 day per minute and the CEO gets 1 week per minute. I bet that would sort it right out.

Re:Do not want (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#37837276)

for purchased mailing lists, they do tricks like this.

they will sell you one 'use' of the list. you can send to everyone there, once.

after that if you use it again, you have no idea who the fake one (or few) are and they are the test cases. if you hit those booby traps, the vendor knows you 'stole' an extra unpaid instance.

why not use that for the DNC? load it with 'triggers' and if the bastards call, throw them in the slammer! after taking ALL their assets (ie, treat them like drug criminals).

after a few catch on, the abuse will go to 0.0% very fast.

that is, IF we really want to solve this social plague. I really don't think we want that, though; the masters get their fees from this and we all just exist to serve our 1% masters (sorry, but I do support OWS).

Re:Do not want (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#37837450)

"Hello, is here the military? We need you to invade Russia to catch that guy misusing the do-not-call list from there."

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836948)

The government needs to deregulate credit cards and banks. If there weren't so many regulations, it would be possible to create a competing credit card company which assured its users' privacy, had much lower fees (currently at least 1.5% for merchants), used proper cryptography, made credit card fraud impossible, and could even be completely anonymous.

The government would never allow such a thing, because the government is controlled by the banks that want to keep their oligopoly. For now, only huge entities with thousands of lawyers can run a credit card network.

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836984)

And then one would grow large enough to buy the others, and you'd be left with one or two behemoths controlling it all, doing what they can to maximize profits, and crushing or buying up start-ups.

Re:Do not want (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#37837042)

And then one would grow large enough to buy the others, and you'd be left with one or two behemoths controlling it all, doing what they can to maximize profits, and crushing or buying up start-ups.

Uh, no. That's what happens when you have regulations that prevent new competitors from entering a market by creating artificial barriers for new companies.

Big companies love regulation for that very reason; they can easily comply whereas small competitors can't. But useful idiots keep demanding that big goverment regulate big business and the big business keeps laughing all the way to the bank.

Re:Do not want (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37837242)

Which is why most of that regulation does not apply to small players. Whole reams of regulation go out the window for privately owned companies, even more for those with less than 100 employees.

Sorry if the truth conflicts with your world view.

Re:Do not want (1)

tmosley (996283) | about 2 years ago | (#37837374)

Uh-huh, tell that to the guy who spent 9 months trying to deal with the bureaucracy to try to open up a winery with NO employees, and wound up having to abandon his ambition because he burned up his tiny nestegg that he managed to save through college.

That is to say, fuck you. Regulation is there and real. If it weren't, there would be a ton of companies competing with each other.

Re:Do not want (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37837522)

citation needed

Any links?
How did he plan on having a winery with no employees. Did he think grapes bottled themselves?

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837342)

Why the hell do you need unsecured credit for daily life?
I'm 40+ years old, married with a kid, own my house & car and have NO CREDIT CARDS and NO DEBT except for my mortgage, which will be paid off early. I've NEVER had a credit card. There are times when it's a hassle (renting a car) but generally it's not a problem.
Just live within your means. In the long run you have to anyway, unless you want to leave debts for your kids.

Re:Do not want (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#37837556)

I'm 40+ years old, married with a kid, own my house & car and have NO CREDIT CARDS and NO DEBT except for my mortgage, which will be paid off early. I've NEVER had a credit card. There are times when it's a hassle (renting a car) but generally it's not a problem. Just live within your means. In the long run you have to anyway, unless you want to leave debts for your kids.

How exactly do you buy things ONLINE?

Also, as far as I know...your children are not responsible or liable for your debts when you croak. They might not get as much of an inheritance, but the debt collector doesn't come for them when you take a dirt nap. That debt contract was only between you and the entity, not your heirs. (Unless there was a weird co-sign or something)

Re:Do not want (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#37836970)

If they had this, and signing up excluded you from using a large number of websites.. would you still sign up?

Not a snide comment but a serious question. In cases like this, you are effectively trading your privacy for access to content. If you decline to provide your private information, it would seem reasonable for them to deny you service. There is a good argument that much of the great content on the internet isn't plastered in ads... but there is still a lot of good ad-supported content out there.

Re:Do not want (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 2 years ago | (#37837126)

It's a fair question. Mine would be, aren't these 2/3/4 companies basically monopolies and need to be regulated as such?

Of course I would call cell phone carriers defacto monopolies since there are only about 4 of them...funny how none of them allow tethering without a fee...

Re:Do not want (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#37837128)

If I don't sign up to get blocked, but do use an ad blocker in firefox ... so I know that they know that I know they know, which means I don't care?

If they have private information that they can't use against me, then are they doing anything bad?

Re:Do not want (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#37837146)

Not a snide comment but a serious question. In cases like this, you are effectively trading your privacy for access to content.

I say that advertising killed micropayments. Advertisements have effectively filled the market need for micropayments, except that unlike a robust micropayment system, advertising comes with all kinds of extra baggage as the ad networks try to extract more and more value out of their systems. If enough people could opt-out of the ad networks that would create new demand for micropayments and we might actually see some progress on that front.

At least a guy can hope.

Re:Do not want (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#37837444)

I don't know how well micropayments would really work.

I mean, it would work for larger known sites.. sure. It's the dozen sites you plough through while looking for something that are the issue.

I don't mind paying for good content (and I do..) .. but I don't want to be paying for every site I quickly glance at either. Demo content doesn't work because the demo can often by very un-representative of what you get if you pay.

Re:Do not want (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837036)

Why do you need a government solution? American Express or Discover could step-up and set themselves apart as the "private" credit card company that won't sell your data.

Re:Do not want (1)

agm (467017) | about 2 years ago | (#37837238)

Indeed. I don't need the government making my decisions for me. If I don't like what Visa are doing, then I'll stop using them.

Re:Do not want (2)

Cyberax (705495) | about 2 years ago | (#37837356)

And what are you going to do in Europe where AmEx is unusable except in airports and boutiques?

Building a world-spanning network is complex and expensive. And not because of monopolies but because it's HARD.

Re:Do not want (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37837362)

Because AMEX and Discover will not. If this makes money for VISA they will do it too. You will thus be stuck with this intrusion or without the ability to buy.

Advertising and money (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 years ago | (#37836794)

How much is enough? The rich suck up money like vacuums, and the media inundate us with intrusive advertising.

Ever watch a YouTube video on Facebook with Chrome? Aren't you annoyed by that damned popup overlay banner at the bottom pushing even more Google advertising?

Re:Advertising and money (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 years ago | (#37836832)

If Google wants to get in my face with advertising, I'll do my level best to get in their face about Canadian privacy laws.

Re:Advertising and money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836850)

No because you only see ads on the internet if you choose to do so.

Re:Advertising and money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837272)

I gave up youtube a long time ago when every 30 second clip was preceded by a commercial. I never hit them, but once I hit my mobile or lan data cap with all the advertising they force you to download. They make you pay to advertise to you. Then take your history and sell it -- without giving anything back

Just what I needed. Thanks 'murika. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836804)

"Honey, why is our Credit Card Company advertising Dragon dildos on our webmail? I thought the most recent purchase was Carnival Cruise Lines so shouldn't there be some advertising for Lobster Dinner instead?"

Why does anyone want this way of life, or is is the world so unhappy that it would abandon their culture to live like paupers in a country whose sole export is Inflation and it's military makes better entertainment than Hollyweird?

syllogism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836840)

If "you are what you buy", then last night I was a teenage prostitute!

Fuuuuuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836852)

Can we make this illegal please?

Interested in how they implement this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836902)

I'm interested in how they will do the advertising. Do you think they'll sell your information to third parties, or just play the role of the middle man and link advertising to customers based on a look up tables.

Affected by Intermediaries (3, Interesting)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | about 2 years ago | (#37836922)

I would be curious to see what effect services like PayPal would have on the ability for credit card companies to sell your data to advertisers. Do they still receive the relevant data, or is that retained at PayPal's level?

Granted, there's also nothing to prevent PayPal from doing the same thing with the customer data it collects. Back to gold doubloons handled with gloves, I suppose...

American Express it is then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836980)

90% of what I buy goes through american express. The other good thing about American Express is that they haven't jumped onto this "pay wave" band wagon in Australia. I don't know if "pay wave" exists anywhere else in the world, but for small purchases a visa card or master card can be waved in front of a plastic brick that doesn't work. What should happen is that the transaction is automatically authorised without a pin or signature, representing a complete U-turn on fraud prevention strategies. The ads on TV make it look instantaneous and fun, with young, attractive people dancing and smiling and running about and buying cool products. The reality is that the thing just beeps with red lights until the acne-infested store assistant loses patience and grabs your card before running a regular transaction using the chip or the magnetic strip. Genius.

Re:American Express it is then (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#37837122)

90% of what I buy goes through american express. The other good thing about American Express is that they haven't jumped onto this "pay wave" band wagon in Australia. I don't know if "pay wave" exists anywhere else in the world, but for small purchases a visa card or master card can be waved in front of a plastic brick that doesn't work. What should happen is that the transaction is automatically authorised without a pin or signature, representing a complete U-turn on fraud prevention strategies. The ads on TV make it look instantaneous and fun, with young, attractive people dancing and smiling and running about and buying cool products. The reality is that the thing just beeps with red lights until the acne-infested store assistant loses patience and grabs your card before running a regular transaction using the chip or the magnetic strip. Genius.

We have them here in the US as well. I have never seen them work.
And I'm glad, because they're terrible for security.
I'm also glad whenever a store checks my ID or the signature on the back of my card (which they are specifically forbidden from doing in their contracts with visa/american express/master card/discover).

Banks profit from fraud because the vast majority of it goes unreported.
Banks thus encourage fraud at every opportunity.

Re:American Express it is then (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37837394)

I use mine all the time, it works great. I am not liable for fraudulent charges so why do I care?

Re:American Express it is then (1)

hawaiian717 (559933) | about 2 years ago | (#37837330)

American Express in the US does have the "pay wave" thing, their term for it is Express Pay. I've never used it. You can contact Amex and have the feature disabled on your account so the transactions don't get approved, but the RFID chip is still present in the card so conceivably some bad guy can poll it for data.

It's called data analytics (1)

Lucas123 (935744) | about 2 years ago | (#37836982)

It's been around for a while now. Haven't you noticed when you log into your social networking sites, you get ads based on what you've purchased or the hotels you've stayed in? It's what map reduce technologies will allow these companies to do more and more of in the future. Imagine this: your frequent flier miles cards, super market frequent shopper cards, credit cards, online transactions and people with whom you socially interact with online -- all that data will be used to compile an consumer profile on which companies will base their marketing and advertising. Cell phone companies already use it to figure out how likely it is that you'll jump ship to another carrier -- based on the habits of your friends on social networks. It's all very creepy and big brotherish.

Re:It's called data analytics (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#37837074)

No. Because I don't use social networking sites, and I have adhosts blocked, and use an ad blocker. Hell the only reason why I have a credit card is because I don't feel like dealing with carrying a wad of cash when I'm on the road, and my canadian debit card doesn't work in the US. Well my credit card can be hit or miss too.

Re:It's called data analytics (1)

epine (68316) | about 2 years ago | (#37837398)

I'm in exactly the same boat. This assistance they are so determined to extend in my direction can only jostle the elbow of merit-based purchasing decisions if I allow it to do so.

A meme I've dropped here in the past is how having a cable TV subscription is like parking a salty chip truck on your front lawn. One thing we know about human nature is that if you wish to prevail, you must win your battles in the store rather than at the refrigerator door where we quickly succumb to Decision Fatigue [nytimes.com] .

Eventually, at the rate this economic model is progressing, they'll have to legislate that failing to succumb to decision fatigue as theft of service. It's become our preferred payment program, hasn't it? There's no tax more widely lauded than a hidden tax. It's not that we hate to pay taxes, it's that we hate to know we pay taxes.

Re:It's called data analytics (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#37837348)

all that data will be used to compile an consumer profile on which companies will base their marketing and advertising. It's all very creepy and big brotherish.

What's worse is that it's extending beyond simply "marketing and advertising" - the personal data collectors are looking to extract value from all that personal information any way they can. "Targeted marketing" is just the first obvious idea that has occurred to them. The second obvious idea is to sell that data to governments [cnn.com] to circumvent constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Some companies are selling location data, especially current location, to companies and individuals for tracking/stalking purposes. It's going to keep getting worse - as in more risky and more costly to the people being profiled and to society as a whole - as the data collectors come up with new and innovative ways to sell all of that profiling information they've been collecting by the terabyte.

Right now people are essentially "selling" this personal information to these data collectors without even knowing the value of the information they are selling, it's almost like writing a blank check in exchange for a handful of bright and shiny baubles.

What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37836998)

Major credit card companies are going to link up our financial information to advertising information. I'd imagine that one good security breach could bring down the whole house of cards.

This just doesn't seem like a sound idea in regards to security or privacy.

I suppose this would be a non-issue if credit card usage wasn't as out of control as it is. People have gotten so far away from using cash that its use is being deemed obsolete by some (http://fleamarketzone.com/2011/10/louisiana-bans-cash-transactions-for-second-hand-merchandise/). Not a good sign when everybody controls money but the person earning it.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 2 years ago | (#37837162)

I'd imagine that one good security breach could bring down the whole house of cards.

Well maybe your house of cards, theirs is still nicely safe.

Well FUCK. (4, Interesting)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#37837048)

make ads more effective at appealing to people in a respective area

Please, please no...I hate this place and the people in it with a passion, the last thing I want is to be bombarded with the bullshit they buy -.-

Re:Well FUCK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837426)

make ads more effective at appealing to people in a respective area

Please, please no...I hate this place and the people in it with a passion, the last thing I want is to be bombarded with the bullshit they buy -.-

Wow. I think this is the first generation where hardship or even perceived hardship has actually made their skin THINNER.

Seriously? ZOMG NO TEHY WILL AAAAAADVERTIIIIIIIIISE TO ME!!!!! THINGS I DO NOT WANT!!!! HALP HALP HALP IT HURTS ME is everyone's response to this? Seriously? Has anyone ever considered, you know, just ignoring the ads, like most people have for centuries (counting print ads)? Have we lost this ability? Are we now incapable of just shrugging and paying attention to something more interesting? Is this from the same line of OCD that forces people to argue with someone on the internet that they KNOW is wrong until the wee hours of the night (I'm certain the XKCD crowd can quote this comic by number)? Is it the same culture in which we allow trolls to thrive?

Or are we all just afraid that if a good advertisement hits us, we'll have to admit we're not as stoic as we think we are when we wind up buying it? Would you have bought the bullshit the people in your place buy without the advertising? Are you afraid it'll make you look weak if you're convinced to change your mind? Is it an image thing? Is it pride? Stubbornness? Narcissism? What is it? Why are the same advertisements we've been ignoring since the dawn of human communication suddenly so evil and somehow un-ignorable?

Another item added to my list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837224)

Google records all your searches along with your IP address, and your computer specifics, like your screen size, your browser type, operating system etc.

Firefox w/Ghostery currently has 667 web bugs in it's database.

Slashdot for Confidential-Data-Not-Safe-On-Solid-State-Disks.

Slashdot: German Politician Demonstrates Extent of Cell Phone Tracking.

US News: The snitch in your pocket.

ISP's record all your web traffic. Wired: Whistle blower outs NSA spy room.

Slashdot: NSA backdoor creates security hole in Windows.

Apple hires David Rice.

New York Times: New Web Code Draws Concern over Privacy Risks

Browser , Flash, Silverlight, HTML cookies, EverCookies.

Lifehacker: Facebook is tracking your every move on the web

Search Apple: Apple-Q-A-on-Location-Data.html

Cellbrite devices. theNewspaper: Michigan Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops

Thinq_: Creepy app warns of an end to privacy

theguardian: Google may use games to analyze net users

Wikipedia: Remotely activated mobile phone microphones

ABCnews: OnStar reverses privacy policy, won't track non-subscribers

The Australian Financial Review: Peeping TomTom sells your every move.

"Firesheep"

Wall Street Journal: MasterCard and Vista to use your purchases to target ads online.

Before you move into a new neighborhood ... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#37837230)

... use Google to find out what the folks there buy with their credit cards. KKK hoods? Anti-vaccination literature? Cannibalism Club Dues? Schizophrenia self-help books? Crack house paraphernalia? See what they've got under their fingernails . . .

Real Estate Agent: "Oh, it's a nice neighborhood, with pleasant people!"

You: "And they seem to spend a lot of money on books about how to annoy and sue their neighbors. And which one bought the cat skinning machine?"

It could influence your choice of location.

Re:Before you move into a new neighborhood ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837572)

I'd be the neighbor with the cat skinning machine. The asshats that live around me have about a dozen outdoor cats ON OUR BLOCK. Fuck them. I clean piles of cat shit off my lawn every day. It gets thrown over the fence to the neighbor that doesn't even have a litter box for their two cats. IF YOU DON"T WANT TO CLEAN UP CAT SHIT THEN DON'T GET A CAT! I might get an airsoft gun to train the cats but cats are so fucking stupid I don't think it's possible.

Damn I hate cats.

Uh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837280)

Who didn't see this coming? Really.

What if I don't mind? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#37837292)

The /. assumption is its all gonna be hospital bills paid by Visa HIPPA violations and sex toy purchases. What if I don't really care about keeping a certain subset private, say "books" or "anything I bought at amazon.com"?

OK /. here is a list of stuff I purchased recently using a CC:

I ebayed a HP (made back when HP was "cool") WR-42 waveguide frequency meter for a ham radio 24 GHZ thing I'm working on (thats twenty four GHZ not two point four)
I bought a quantity of tapioca maltodextrin to experiment with edible oil sands (tastier than it sounds). With the idea of making a sandy italian salad, if that makes any sense. I know its hydrophillic, I guess I'll find out if its deliquescent soon enough...
Sitting on my desk unread is a Stephen Wolfram paperback of all his comp sci papers. Glance thru looks interesting. I enjoyed ANKOS. Hoping for a rainy, reading filled weekend filled with cellular automata. Or maybe next week, who knows.
Nature Publishing Group had an "impact" sale where you can subscribe for the impact number of the journal rather than the list price. No way in Fing hell I'm paying $299 or whatever it is for Nature Physics paper journal. But I'll subscribe for $18 or whatever it was exactly. I suppose just the gasoline to drive to the library every month will pay for this... I'm not sure how they're even keeping up with postage costs at $18.

Does anyone, myself, /., or the NSA, really care about any of this or find any actionable info in this?

I've been expecting this for a while (2)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#37837308)

I've been expecting this for some time. Google only knows what you look at. Visa and MasterCard know what you do. Amazon does this now, but only for sales within Amazon's system. Now it can work for everyone.

This could upset Google's dominance in online advertising. If some other search engine or social network partnered with Visa and MasterCard, they could do search ads much better than Google can.

Cash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837354)

Well all that means is that i have to buy my escorts, sex toys, playboys, britney spears cd's, and viagra pills with cash.

a telling choice in phrasing (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#37837438)

I don't think I want to be a " TARGET " of anything.
They're viewing you as prey.

My proposal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837558)

Who wants to help me organize an identity obfuscation service? You give me a few key details about yourself, a credit card, and a small monthly cap. Initially I will hire overseas personnel to surf random sites, sign up for random things, and make lots of pointless small purchases - or the occasional large one. Once we have a sufficient number of participants, we'll increase the monthly purchase caps and use Person X's financial data to make purchases for Person Y and vice versa, and orchestrate the cross shipping. Over a short period of time, nobody will know what you do or how you did it. All personal data will be totally pointless and erroneous. As a safety precaution, this service will be located on Sealand, and records purged on a regular basis so the truth can never be uncovered. WHO'S WITH ME???

With VISA's approach, will people choose proxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37837576)

by location just so see what stuff those locals are into?

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