Android Pay Purchase History?

Oppressed

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
1,265
10
Watching the keynote today for Google I/O and when they were introducing Android Pay they did not once talk about if, or if not, Google can record what the person is buying.

When Apple introduced Apple Pay they spent a great amount of time explaining that they would not have any record of what the user was purchasing, their purchase history, where they were, and so on.

Is this a way for Google to sell more information?
 

nviz22

Cancelled
Jun 24, 2013
5,277
3,071
I would assume Google could do it because anything not stated in a ToU or legally prohibited by some federal or state statutes could be fair game. Google could sell their "data combs" to advertisers to gear their apps, products, and services to you. There was an article I read about Target sending someone "pregnancy" coupons and the father didn't know about the daughter expecting, made a scene at Target, and then the girl confessed about her expectancy. It was on Forbes.com. Info selling can be scary.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Watching the keynote today for Google I/O and when they were introducing Android Pay they did not once talk about if, or if not, Google can record what the person is buying.
If you're using it as an NFC payment method, then Google, like any credit card processor, only knows the merchant category and id (and the total purchase amount). They do not get a list of individual items.

Of course, if you buy from a liquor or grocery store, or a flower or gun shop, then those are big hints, although the details are missing :)

When Apple introduced Apple Pay they spent a great amount of time explaining that they would not have any record of what the user was purchasing, their purchase history, where they were, and so on.
Apple is a master of words. It helps to read all of Apple's security documents.

With in-app payments, Apple collects app, merchant, amount, time info.

With NFC purchases, Apple collects location, and time of purchase. (I think they could use this one day to provide a map of Apple Pay compatible merchants. It also helps them corroborate their expected bank royalties.)

In addition, their contract with the banks requires the latter to give back "nearly three-dozen categories of quantifiable information," according to those who've seen the documents.

So when Apple says they don't collect detailed info during an NFC purchase, they're telling a truth, but not the whole truth. They're not collecting actual purchase info themselves, but they're still getting tons of useful purchase information fed back to them.

--

Personally, I think that a proxy buyer (like Google Wallet used to be) is far more useful as a privacy tool, than the way that Apple Pay allows the merchant category & id - i.e. store name and location - to flow to the banks.

Think about this: let's say you buy a bottle of champagne and some flowers during a work day, and rent a little hotel room out of town. Meanwhile, your wife buys something at MacDonald's using her credit card back near home.

With a proxy like the original Google Wallet in front, the credit card companies only see a generic purchase. At worst, you might view more ads for flowers and hotels for a while because Google intercepted that info.

With Apple Pay passing everything through, the impact on you could be much worse. The CC providers know where you bought, and the categories. This flags them that you're probably fooling around during work hours and thus could be a future credit risk. Boom, your credit limit gets lowered, or at the least, you're put on a watch list.

(All CC providers have algorithms for this kind of thing, as part of their fraudulent purchase flag methods, and also to keep an eye on our future credit risk. They watch for behavior like suddenly attending therapists, purchasing a lot of liquor during our normal work hours, buying something at a job fair, or anything that might indicate we've lost or are losing our job, or might have a major family problem coming up.)

The upshot is: you want privacy? Use cash :)
 
Last edited:

Oppressed

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
1,265
10
If you're using it as an NFC payment method, then Google, like any credit card processor, only knows the merchant category and id (and the total purchase amount). They do not get a list of individual items.

Of course, if you buy from a liquor or grocery store, or a flower or gun shop, then those are big hints, although the details are missing :)



Apple is a master of words. It helps to read all of Apple's security documents.

With in-app payments, Apple collects app, merchant, amount, time info.

With NFC purchases, Apple collects location, and time of purchase. (I think they could use this one day to provide a map of Apple Pay compatible merchants. It also helps them corroborate their expected bank royalties.)

In addition, their contract with the banks requires the latter to give back "nearly three-dozen categories of quantifiable information," according to those who've seen the documents.

So when Apple says they don't collect detailed info during an NFC purchase, they're telling a truth, but not the whole truth. They're not collecting actual purchase info themselves, but they're still getting tons of useful purchase information fed back to them.

--

Personally, I think that a proxy buyer (like Google Wallet used to be) is far more useful as a privacy tool, than the way that Apple Pay allows the merchant category & id - i.e. store name and location - to flow to the banks.

Think about this: let's say you buy a bottle of champagne and some flowers during a work day, and rent a little hotel room out of town. Meanwhile, your wife buys something at MacDonald's using her credit card back near home.

With a proxy like the original Google Wallet in front, the credit card companies only see a generic purchase. At worst, you might view more ads for flowers and hotels for a while because Google intercepted that info.

With Apple Pay passing everything through, the impact on you could be much worse. The CC providers know where you bought, and the categories. This flags them that you're probably fooling around during work hours and thus could be a future credit risk. Boom, your credit limit gets lowered, or at the least, you're put on a watch list.

(All CC providers have algorithms for this kind of thing, as part of their fraudulent purchase flag methods, and also to keep an eye on our future credit risk. They watch for behavior like suddenly attending therapists, purchasing a lot of liquor during our normal work hours, buying something at a job fair, or anything that might indicate we've lost or are losing our job, or might have a major family problem coming up.)

The upshot is: you want privacy? Use cash :)
Of the multiple points you are talking about can you provide sources for any of this?
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Of the multiple points you are talking about can you provide sources for any of this?
Yes, as always. But I was too rushed to include them. Of course, you could always Google the info yourself, since I gave plenty of keywords to do so. In fact, let's do that. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Apple Pay info: I pointed out the need to read Apple's security documents. Google "apple pay security policy". Here are the most important results:

Apple Pay Security and Privacy

iOS Security Guide

Apple Pay contract with banks: I quoted "nearly three-dozen categories of quantifiable information". Google those words in quotes, with the quotes around them. Both results are good reads.

Who's on First with Apple Pay

Issuers’ Apple Pay Pact Assigns Remarkable Authority to Card Networks As Well As Apple

What credit cards issuers know about us: Okay, this is actually a bit harder, but let's Google "what do credit card companies know about us", or "what info goes up with a credit card purchase" We get interesting articles like:

What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You - NY Times

What electronic payments reveal about you to lenders - creditcards.com

Also Google "credit card profiling", to get lots more info on what they look for about our purchases. And some more articles from here and there:

Credit Card Companies Sell Your Personal Shopping Data - (Interesting tidbit: "CNN reported that merchants pay banks an average fee of 10% to 15% of the purchase price of a product each time a customer uses a discount that is generated from the bank’s data. The bank takes nearly 25% of that fee and pays the rest to an intermediary that works with both banks and merchants, like Cardlytics. So if you purchase a $500 item, the merchant pays a fee of up to $75; the bank receives about 25% of this or $18.75.")

12 creepy details data collectors know about you - (Not really CCs, but demonstrates how little privacy we have anyway.)

Okay, I cheated. I helped. I apologize again, but I've run out of time, even though there's so much more! But you get the idea. Cheers!

tl;dr - Credit card issuers watch our spending habits for security reasons, for credit risk reasons, and to collect information that can be sold.

One of the most important and least understood parts of the latter, is that they're prevented by law from sharing personal data ... EXCEPT with their partners. The sleazy trick is, many have "partnered" with a lot of non-banking companies. This is why that yearly letter you get telling you how to opt out of that "partner" sharing, is very important.
 

kevinof

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
716
132
Dublin/London
....

Think about this: let's say you buy a bottle of champagne and some flowers during a work day, and rent a little hotel room out of town. Meanwhile, your wife buys something at MacDonald's using her credit card back near home.

With a proxy like the original Google Wallet in front, the credit card companies only see a generic purchase. At worst, you might view more ads for flowers and hotels for a while because Google intercepted that info.

With Apple Pay passing everything through, the impact on you could be much worse. The CC providers know where you bought, and the categories. This flags them that you're probably fooling around during work hours and thus could be a future credit risk.
...

Hmmm. Champs, flowers.. Sounds like you're speaking from personal experience :)

Seriously though - good post and good info.
 

Vegastouch

macrumors 603
Jul 12, 2008
5,462
389
Las Vegas, NV
Let the PAY wars begin. :D
I doubt ill use it much. Ive used Google Wallet really just through Google. I bought my Nexus 5 with it and ive used it on Apps but thats directly from the playstore and not going to an actual store to buy something.

Its no effort to whip out the debit card as opposed to searching for Google Wallet or Google Pay on my phone.
 
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