Following the release of a controversial presentation titled, “Leveraging MasterCard Data Insights to Reach Holiday Shoppers” earlier this year, which highlighted the company’s ability to successful collect payments data which MasterCard intended to sell to other companies to more effectively target holiday shoppers, the company has reiterated that consumers have no reason to be concerned.
In their response to consumers, global privacy and data protection officer JoAnn Stonier appears in a number of videos stressing that consumer data is safe.
She remarks, “MasterCard never collects, discloses or uses personally identifiable data, such as cardholder name and address, in its products.” However some consumer protection groups are not satisfied.
Nick Pickles of Big Brother Watch says that MasterCard is, “treating details of our personal behavior like their own property to be bundled up and sold on without any regard to what customers might want.”
Although the majority of criticism has been focused on MasterCard, other payment providers run similar programs and whether this forces any of these companies to change their business strategy is yet to be seen. It is unlikely, however, that many consumers will change their spending habits this holiday season like opting to use cash versus card transactions for example in the face of this issue, meaning that MasterCard simply has to ride out the storm.
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