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Any way your credit card is used will display personal information

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This could compromise the convenience of paying the credit card bill later, protecting the consumer to protect against potential fraud or to carry no cash or worry about your account balance.

But of course there is a compromise for all these benefits. The Washington Post technology columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler undertook a city expedition to demonstrate how credit card companies and their friends are selling their data. In a tedious story with two bananas, an Amazon Prime Visa card, and an Apple card Fowler pointed to six places where your credit card usage may reveal more personal information than you might notice.

The Card Issuer

Credit card issuers may share your information with other companies, unless you expressly disagree with the defaults set forth in the card's privacy policy (more later).

The Map Network

Apart from the bank issuing your card, the Visa Network – Visa and Mastercard – can use and anonymise your data to sell "data intelligence". Customers can view data on populations of 50 or more people which are often tied to groups in postal codes, "wrote Fowler. For example, this purchase data may be used by a company considering opening a store in your community.

The Retailer

Every time you swipe a card, a store can add the contents of your receipt to your purchase history. Depending on the business, your data may be sold to another company or, more ambiguously, "passed on" to another company.

The Payment Processor

You may not think much about the payment field into which you insert your data card. However, these payment terminals also collect your personal information. Some of this information may be stored as a customer profile, e.g. On tabs that remember where your receipt should be sent. These services may combine your purchase history with those of others. This is a date to be shared beyond this retailer.

Your mobile wallet

Did you leave your wallet at home? That's alright, you have your phone. However, if you do not adjust your privacy settings, your mobile wallet might share your personal information. For example, Google Pay may use your information to market other Google companies to you Fowler said. Apple Payments, Inc. and Green Dot Bank separate Apple Pay Cash data from the rest of Apple. Most of the data is not released at all.

Your Financial Apps

If you sync your spend with a budgeting app, that company may combine your data with those of other users and sell it to a third party. EveryDollar for example, claims to share aggregated, anonymized data within its parent company The Lampo Group.

Disabling Credit Card Sharing

Once you sign up for a product or service, you can be sure that your data will be shared somehow. Maybe they sell it; Maybe they use it for industrial case studies. If you think about all the ways you have acted your privacy for convenience, you might want to skip the city and hide in a bunker.

But hell, maybe you're willing to exchange some of that privacy for something the pleasure of shopping easier or getting loyalty rewards. If you do not plan to stop using credit cards soon, you can limit the sharing of personal information in two steps.

First, credit cards are required to disable the sharing of data. Read the privacy policy of your card manufacturer to find out how to depart from their marketing lists.

Once you have dealt with the card issuer, do not stop here. You may also need to ask the card networks to stop sharing your information. Visa and Mastercard both have online systems to do this. Discover and American Express allows you to control the privacy of your online account or by telephone.

If you include in your credit card details, your spending habits will not be as private as with cash. But it can at least reduce the amount of "personalized" offers you find in your junk mail.

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