Feeds

Credit card companies plan to sell your purchase data to advertisers

Evil plot may end up buried in the T&Cs ...

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc are working on a system for delivering online behavioural adverts to consumers based on what they buy in shops, according to media reports.

The US-based credit card networks have developed "preliminary" plans to place shoppers into groups based on their in-store purchasing history and sell the information to marketing firms that would deliver online behavioural ads, according to report by the Wall Street Journal and another by CNET.

Publishers and advertising networks currently use cookies to track user behaviour on websites in order to target adverts to individuals based on that behaviour.

Mastercard's proposed system involves anonymously grouping consumers into "segments" based on what they have bought and selling the information on to advertisers, according to the CNET report.

Visa's plans involve dividing consumers into groups based on a number of segments, including purchasing history and location, before selling that data on, the CNET report said.

Visa and Mastercard did not respond to requests for a comment.

Iain Connor, advertising expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that if the scheme was ever introduced in the UK credit card network, it would have had to obtain consumers’ explicit and informed consent in order to sell purchasing history data to marketers.

“Under EU and UK data protection laws, organisations must process personal data, such as consumers’ names and credit card details, fairly and lawfully and collect it for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes,” Connor said.

“If credit card companies want to share UK customers’ purchasing history details with advertisers they will have to explain that they will collect that data from them and explain how it will be used. This could be done via the company’s terms and conditions but the companies would have to obtain customers’ informed and explicit consent in order to sell that information on to third party advertisers," Connor said.

"Whether Visa and Mastercard’s existing data protection notice and terms and conditions would constitute ‘informed’ consent to that happening or whether new terms and conditions would need to be drawn in order to achieve that level of consent remains to be seen,” he said.

Copyright © 2011, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.