Credit card firms want to stalk you on the web

A report in the Wall Street Journal said Visa and Mastercard have cunning plans to use what they know about you to push ads at you when you’re online.

Apparently, for example if you’ve just bought a burger with your credit then go online, the companies could, in principle, then push ads to you from competing fast food joints.  

In effect, both companies possess so much information about you if you use credit cards that they have a vast database of information that they want to exploit further.

Although Visa and Mastercard don’t have your name and address, one document the WSJ has seen says “you are what you buy”.

The report said that Visa has a patent pending that will link in DNA databases too, all with the idea of stalking you online and pushing ads at you that they think you might want.

Cards are issued by merchants, such as Barclays or Natwest, but the report, which you can find here, says that Mastercard has all the details about 23 billion purchases it makes a year.

Are we safe in their hands? We’d venture to say, er no.