One issue that has not been covered is the implications for personal data.Where previously companies would pay ‘mystery shoppers’ or members of the public in some way for the information about how people’s retail habits, they are now able to access data generated by customers using their cards and process it into marketing data.
Mastercard is the latest company to hit the headlines for its plans to mine customers data for insights that can be sold on.
The curious part is the company’s claim that they can use off-line data to help advertisers target you online. Arguing their system is proprietary, they don’t offer any detail on how this is possible without using some degree of personal information.
If this data has value, then it should be up to Mastercard to ask customers for permission to use their information and offer consumers something in return. Whether health records, shopping habits or geolocation data, the consumer should be in control and it is a retrograde step for privacy when companies decide that it is they, not the people who are actually generating the data, should decide what happens to it.
Instead they are treating details of our personal behaviour like their own property to be bundled up and sold on without any regard to what customers might want.