Google now knows, what you bought offline, where, when and why

Data about ads, that users see online, and purchases they make in offline stores is now combined and collated by Google in order to measure advertisement performance. Google needs to prove to its advertisers that ads can generate sales in brick-and-mortar stores. It has partnered with a company that is said to have the access to 70% of credit and debit cards transactions in the US.

Not all the users are ready and willing to have the information about their purchases analyzed and mixed with the data collected by Google’s ubiquitous ad technology. The fact, that an anonymous company is a part of this process, brings some additional anxiety.

A spokesperson of Bridg, a startup that is also solving the problem of matching online and offline behavior for measuring ad effectiveness, speculates in his comment to WSJ, that Facebook and other big advertising businesses would also need to invest in collating digital and physical identities of a consumer.

Google’s approach to this task has previously been based on location tracking. If a user had been found near a Home Depot store after seeing a lawn mower ad, certain conclusions were made. But the inaccuracy of this approach is obvious, besides, more and more users deactivate location tracking.

Google claims to ensure the protection of customers’ and card holders’ data and explains, that matching data is done double-blindly. Card data possessing company has no access to Google’s information about advertising audience, and Google doesn’t see any transaction details. But Paul Stephens from a consumer advocacy group Privacy Rights Clearinghouse reminds that it’s still difficult to anonymize data, and hackers keep on stealing it from time to time.

We recommend our readers not to rely on Google’s desire to protect user data. And not to hope, that ad perfomance analyzing algorithms would make their lives better, not just drive them to spend more money in shops. We recommend to take control in your own hands and disable ad tracking with the help of AdGuard apps and browser extensions.

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Ad-free web for blind and visually impaired users

Global Accessibility Awareness Day takes place on the 18th of May. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the accessibility of digital products for users with disabilities.

It is important not to confuse accessibility with availability -- the latter refers to the technical performance, the ability of a server to respond to a client’s request. Accessibility describes the convenience of a website, software or an app for people with special needs, disabilities or diseases, the very possibility to be used by such people.

"Sing, Goddess, the wrath": a history of ad blocking, part one

For as long as advertisements have existed, people have been trying to avoid them. No surprise there. An advertisement is an unwelcome communication that distracts attention and intrudes at its own discretion and for its own purpose.

Marketing experts writhed in agony when video cassette recorders first started gaining popularity. "It’s over now," they thought. "TV advertising is dead. People will no longer just switch channels (where they can be caught) or go to the kitchen (where they can still hear the ads). Now they can avoid an ad altogether by just cutting it off!"

Downloading AdGuard To install AdGuard, click the file indicated by the arrow Select "Open" and click "OK", then wait for the file to be downloaded. In the opened window, drag the AdGuard icon to the "Applications" folder. Thank you for choosing AdGuard! Select "Open" and click "OK", then wait for the file to be downloaded. In the opened window, click "Install". Thank you for choosing AdGuard!
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