Depending on how you feel about online shopping, this either old news or a huge betrayal of consumer trust: Mastercard and American Express are selling your data to online advertisers who then use it to target you with ads.
As Ad Age notes, they’re not shouting very loud about it for fear of a backlash.
Here’s what we learned today from reporter Kate Kaye:
Mastercard began doing this two and a half years ago.
It sells data by zip code, offering areas that are more likely to make certain types of purchases, like shoes, for instance. Online advertisers can then bid on online users from those areas, and target them with ads for shoes.
The data is anonymous and aggregated. They can’t identify you, in other words. All they know is that there are x-thousand shoe-buyers in a given zip code, online, at any one time.
Amex sells its data as a series of models.
EBay also sells its data for ad targeting.
Best quote in the article: “Anybody that’s got data right now is in the business of trying to make money off of it,” said Forrester Principal Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali. “Why not take advantage of it, especially if you can do it under the radar?”
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