Google Pay: What opting into personalized offers can really mean for your privacy and finances – USA TODAY

Google Pay: What opting into personalized offers can really mean for your privacy and finances – USA TODAY

When Google says some of its controversial tracking features are “opt in” only, do you realize you’ve actually agreed to let them snoop on you? Take, for instance, Google’s new Pay app.

The company is encouraging people to try it out and let Google monitor their finances and purchases in exchange for personalized offers, on a three-month trial. 

For instance, if Google knows you eat at Burger King, it says it could hit you up with specific BK offers, as opposed to generic restaurant deals in your neighborhood. 

But it knows people are wary about giving Google yet another license to track their every movement, as it already does with Maps, YouTube viewing, searches and the like. It already knows where you go, what you watch, who you spend time with, what stores you drive to – and more. How do you feel about Google tracking your purchases from inside your wallet?

So in announcing the new program, in very small print as part of the user agreement process, Google noted that this Pay personalization feature was opt-in: “At the end of three months, you can decide if you want to keep it on or off.” 

Google Pay's personalization

That sounds great, right? Google is putting the decision in your hands. 

But reality check, folks: Most people won’t even know what they signed up for. The lettering is tiny, just another window of user agreements that people
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