Google has started tracking purchases made by users at brick-and-mortar stores who have clicked on digital ads associated with the item.
The tech giant is doing this in an effort to convince companies to buy more digital ads.
Google is able to track these purchases by partnering with companies that track data. Google has access to nearly 70 percent of all credit and debit card transactions in the U.S. through these partnerships.
When this information is matched with ad clicks, it suggests to merchants that digital ads work. So you can probably expect to see more targeted ads in the future.
What you can do to stop being tracked
This type of tracking feels like more privacy loss. Not only that, but a database of information like this could end up being targeted by hackers. Cybercriminals could get their hands on victims’ payment card information, email address, passwords and more.
If the idea of being tracked, even when you’re not online, frightens you, you might want to think about opting out of ad tracking.