Consumer Comeback Blog

MasterCard Could Be Selling Consumer Spending Data to Advertisers

Consumers’ online shopping and web browsing histories are already being mined for target marketing – that’s why you see web ads for products you already browsed online. MasterCard might be selling tarnsaction data from every time you swipe your credit card to advertisers, Wired reported.

In a MasterCard client presentation, “Leveraging MasterCard Data Insights to Reach Holiday Shoppers,” which has recently been removed from the web, MasterCard senior vice president Susan Grossman discussed ways the company could make money off its extensive network of data from 34 billion annual customer transactions.

The presentation was made last month, just in time to track holiday spending and help advertisers identify future target market groups including “last-minute shoppers, holiday travelers, Black Friday shoppers, Cyber Monday shoppers, big spenders, and people who don’t eat out except around the holidays.”

“MasterCard is committed to protecting individual privacy. No personally identifiable information is collected, disclosed or used in the analysis and development of MasterCard Audiences,” the company said a statement e-mailed to Wired.