Your Credit Card and Bank Company are Selling your Data

Your purchase data is for sale


I was reading an article posted to Hacker News recently, “Google and Mastercard Cut Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales”, about how Google is buying transaction data from MasterCard. I’ve noticed when setting up a new bank account or getting a new debit or credit card there is often a little notice inside about their privacy practices and how you can opt-out, but they don’t make it clear to what extent this is possible and what information it is that they sell and to whom.

Protecting Your Privacy

The best way to protect your financial privacy would be to use cash, but for many reasons that are not practical especially for modern convenience and things like online shopping. The point of these suggestions is just to limit the amount of personal information and marketing data being collected and shared. Keep in mind the retailers and merchants you do business with may retain and sell your data as well, this is exactly how most store rewards programs work.

I’ve been using a transaction tool called since I read about it in The Verge, “ is a VPN for credit cards” a few years ago. So far it’s worked well. It’s not fully anonymous, but it keeps the data out of the bank or credit card company’s hands and has some other benefits such as allowing you to set limits and delete the virtual cards. Their Privacy Policy is also significantly easier to understand and as of writing they do not market your transaction data like your financial institution probably does. One part of this service that has come in handy is the per-merchant cards since I haven’t had to have my card re-issued each time another breach happens. Referral Link

Abine Blur

I also used Abine Blur in the past, but I found the interface for virtual cards was lacking and the company hasn’t updated it in years.

I’ve added some links below to major credit card companies and bank websites where you can find the privacy policy details. More importantly I have included links where you can opt-out of data marketing, which is where the company markets “sells” your data to other firms.

Credit/Debit Cards