Google Is About To Start Tracking Your Offline Behavior, Too

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Josie Wales via,

It’s no secret that Google already monitors its users’ online shopping activity, but now it will follow them out of their homes and keep a close eye on every interaction they make. The tech giant announced a new system to track users’ in-store credit card purchases Tuesday in a statement published on the company’s official blog.

Google rolled out the new tool at Google Marketing Next, an annual event geared toward advertisers where the company unveils its newest innovations in marketing. “Store sales management” works by pulling data from Google’s third-party partnerships, which capture approximately 70% of credit card transactions in the United States. The system then streamlines user information in order to generate reports automatically sent to merchants who opt in. The reports will measure the effectiveness of online advertisements by matching in-store transactions back to Google ads.

According to the Associated Press:

"Google says its computers rely primarily on log-in information, such as email addresses, to identify the people clicking on ads. It then matches that data with other identifying information compiled by merchants and the issuers of credit and debit cards to figure out when digital ads contribute to an offline purchase.”

This is ultimately an upgraded version of Google’s “store visits measurement,” which was rolled out in 2014 and updated in March 2017. This tool utilizes deep learning technology to analyze vast amounts of user data, including email addresses, ad clicks, browser and location history, and user surveys.

Miro Copic, a marketing professor at San Diego State University, told the Associated Press that “the privacy implications of this are pretty massive, so Google needs to tread very carefully.”

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VWAndy's picture

 As if they have not been doing that for years? Kiddies they been doing that for a long time now.

Pigeon's picture

Everyone does it. There is no other way to explain how I happen to buy black beans for the first time ever at Costco and suddenly a week later Von's offers me a discount on beans - again which I never buy or have purchased there.

VWAndy's picture

 Kinda makes me wonder what would happen if a tool like this ever got into honest hands. We could lay out the network of scumbags from top down for all to see. Its one of tptb greatest advantages. Knowing who is playing for team scumbag is key to the control systems.

Manthong's picture

See I gay…

There just might be something to that.

peddling-fiction's picture

Yes, there is a reason for that.

Touchy subject, when the Priestly class is outed.

More I should not say, but follow the symbol of Anu for answers.

NoDecaf's picture

At least they still allow search results for "fuck google"

peddling-fiction's picture

Sure, you get flagged as a terrorist.

Bigly's picture

Fuck all of this.


The BigPram's picture

you can add an extra 1200/USD a week to your income just working on the internet a few hours each day, check out this page...

fx's picture

"“the privacy implications of this are pretty massive, so Google needs to tread very carefully.”"

Haha, good one! Nobody out there gives a damn anymore about his privacy and personal data. The vast majority of people have become totally apathic towards that issue. Convenience and unwillingness to move their asses trump every concern that might be left.

All these clouds are soo beautiful and easy to get addicted to...

techpriest's picture

It's funny - "the cloud" is just someone else's server, and there are pros and cons to that in business (i.e. letting some other company's IT do the IT work for you). On a personal level, you are letting someone else store all of your pictures and thoughts, and you hope they never peek with malicious intent.

The thing I really don't get are devices like Alexa/Google Home. You are again inviting in a microphone that is listening to you all the time. Even if Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are all 100% honest (lol), you are still at risk of being hacked, and with AI criminals could very easily parse your conversations and extract when you talk about money habits, your safe, big purchases, etc. Same goes for phones - if you need one, keep a Faraday-cage isolation box next to where you keep your keys, and drop it in when you get home.

BullyBearish's picture

over 20 years ago visited a start up that was instumenting shopping carts with a device to determine where a shopper was looking and for how long...they would then place coupons, flashers, noise makers in the aisle to see effect...they went bust but they were doing this kind of stuff over 20 years ago...

hannah's picture

they actually did this 80 years ago...that is why we have shelving priorities in grocery stores.

Mr. Universe's picture

Bluelight special aisle 666.

mkkby's picture

Use firefox with noscript, uBlock origin and disconnect for cookie blocking.  You will see very few ads and pages will load much faster, even on a slower computer.

Don't use social network spyware.  Log into sites with fake names and fake email addresses.  I do a search on myself and come up with... nothing.  No phone number, no address, no work history, no zucker fag fake friends.

Who the fuck is clicking on ads anyway?  I've never heard of anyone actually doing that.  99% is from click farms in china.

essence's picture

Sigh ... you don't seem to understand how the web & IP networks work.

Each Browser has a version, a number of add-ons, it runs on a certain Operating System version.
And then there's your IP address, which while it may vary, pegs you to a certain location.
When you visit a web site the web server reads those attributes from your browser. It's part of the HTTP protocol.

 Sum all those tidbits up and it's child play for an outfit such as Google to ID your appearances on a web site with a high degree of certainty.

While disabling Cookie's & Javascript will help, the fact is you leave an identifiable fingerprint as you cruise the web.

If it's really important to you to anonymize your web surfing, use a Trusted VPN service that can randomize your orgin IP address to many,many,many locations.
Run a firewall that prevents inbound & OUTBOUND connections that are not merely replies to your web surfing.
Use a browser addon that lets you vary the OS , version number & service packs reported. And for god sakes... GET THE FUCK OFF OF WINDOWS...especially spyware Windows 10!
Even then, you'd also need to randomize your browser make,version and it's addons that get reported. And if you have turned off javascript, why that fingers you out too!
Oh, and don't forget to run your OS/Browser in a virtual machine that you set back to a clean state before each and every web surfing so as to account for any new fangled high tech cookies that you are not yet aware of.

To truly anonymize your web surfing you'd need to randomize ALL aspects of your Internet presence: i.e. origin IP address, OS and version, Browser & version & addons, cookies, javascript on or off  etc, etc.
Starting to grasp exactly how difficult it is?
As soon as a discernible pattern is evident, Google's algorithms will be all over it like SkyNet.

And I'm not even addressing the issue of NSA/CIA being in bed with chip makers to put ID'ing info into computer/Hard Drive/Thumbdrive firmware.
Nor am I addressing web capable smart phones, --- they're even worse!

How many are going to negotiate all these issues to remain anonymous?


mkkby's picture


Of course my ISP or my VPN provider know my ip address and what sites I browse.  That cannot be stopped.  But by keeping personal info to myself, I am just a number to them.  They know nothing about me. 

At least I am getting a free ride on their sites, and I waste no time waiting for 20 scripts and ads to load.  That is how you starve a beast one paper cut at a time.

Cash Is King's picture

CCTV & facial recognition. A picture paints a 1000 words and now everyone knows which way you lean. LOL

JRobby's picture

Shop using cash only for all purchases.....even gas.

Wait in line to pay your tolls in cash (they photograph your plate anyway............)

Dovda Wimar's picture

Off topic but I drove thru Chicago this weekend and Jesus f'ing Christ did I get hit up by the highway man with their tolls. It cost me $11 to drive from the west edge to a SW suburb. Stupid blue state tax rapists. Get me out of here ASAP!!

Shitonya Serfs's picture

"Google needs to tread very carefully" Ha, professor. Guess you haven't been around Google's practices very long.

Theophilus Carter's picture

That boat sailed (too bad it didn't sink).  Alphabet's cool new slogan is 'Do the right thing'.  It's opened ended on what 'the right thing' is depending on from whose perspective...

sgt_doom's picture

Google:  Don't be evil!

Lucifer:  Don't be Google!


Blythes Master's picture

Hey Google.....FUCK YOU!.
His name was Seth Rich.

Pigeon's picture


crazybob369's picture

Will be, as soon as they weaponize their satellites. Probably happening as we speak.

Takemine2go's picture

1984 was not supposed to be a "How to" manual. 

peddling-fiction's picture

1984 (the year) is the 100th anniversary of the Fabian Society and that leads me to believe that yes it was wishing a manual, and a way to achieve passive consent. <-- I do not give my consent.

Reality is more Phildickean at this stage.

nmewn's picture

Cold hard cash is still an fyi ;-)

Vageling's picture

That's how I pay. Sure... My main bills I can't, requires e-transfers. But the rest? Cash! Dumped my Mastercard years ago. If I need one I buy a prepaid card.

Took Red Pill's picture

Are you sure cash can't be traced? This article is 4 years old about "smart paper" with RFID chips in it;

California Nightmares's picture

Think of the bill counter at the bank. Maybe soon the counterll record serial numbers? 

Hikikomori's picture

You can pay bills with money orders, which are anonymous.  Lots of places sell money orders, don't buy all yours at one place.


Since you can buy almost anything on, some folks are now using amazon gift cards - which can be bought with cash, as payment for various things.

centerline's picture

for now at least.  (got a feeling that barter is going to make a smashingly big comeback one day).

Ghost of Porky's picture

Don't be evil. Be straight up diabolical.

Stan Smith's picture

Isnt this old news.   Why do you think Chromebooks are so cheap?   You are the product, remember?

Vageling's picture

Google needs some moar fines from the watchdogs! 

Money_for_Nothing's picture

Google, Walmart and more are fronts for government agencies. I'm starting to think there is a shooting war going on between agencies and they can't report it because too many would be disillusioned. The BP oil rig fire of a few years back comes to mind. What is the only reason to do a movie of that FUBAR? Control the narrative.

Just before the BP fire and explosion a report came out that there was a tremendous ocean of oil beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Next day a denial. Few weeks then boom, closest rig to the center of Gulf blows up nominally due to rampant incompetence.

New_Meat's picture

Chicks_4_Free: don't attribute events to planning, conspiracy, or malice when there is so much stupidity and incompetence running rampant.

Hans-Zandvliet's picture

Just abandon Google search engine and switch over to something like Duck Duck Go: they don't track (nor even store) their users' data.