Online giant Google will have eyes everywhere, including your wallet and spending habits! The company plans to start a new service that will combine online intelligence with offline consumer data. So, Google will make it possible for advertisers to target clients. The search engine will offer advertising companies an access to people’s Web and real life activities.
A few days ago, Google announced the launch of a new ad project called Conversions API. The service will allow companies to make profiles of their users using not only their Internet search history, but also their in-store shopping activities.
On its website DoubleClick Search, Google said that users’ online data can only provide a limited amount of information to businesses. The company added that advertisers also need real-life information about consumers.
That led the giant to create a beta version of its Conversions API which will be used for automatic storing of offline conversions. The new service will keep track of users’ calls, in-store transactions, as well as different online actions. This information will be mixed with other data so that advertisers can receive better consumers’ statistics.
According to Google, the new service will be anonymous and it will be completely safe. However, even though it will protect people’s privacy, this project is somewhat disturbing. Facebook activities are also disturbing for many, so as Amazon’s. Tracking your every step is something not many consumers would like. Imagine, for example, that you go to a store and you buy a product of a certain brand using your credit card. Google will track that and the next time you open its website you will see much more ads for this brand. Amazon, for example, sends tailor-made email offers for products you have been viewing recently. Sometimes, this practice is welcomed, but sometimes it could be described as intruding and pushy.
So far, there is no guarantee that users’ information collected by Google won’t get in the hand of third parties. Despite being protected, the data can someday be accessed by a sneaky hacker. The possibility of selling or exchanging such data seems so dangerous that we are not even attempting to discuss it – you can imagine by yourself the consequences.
In addition, it is now clear that Google doesn’t offer this information only to its advertisers. In November it was reported that the search engine gave the U.S. government private information of about 8,000 users. That was only for the first part of 2012. Insiders from Google commented that this was not the first time when they help a government.