cold fjord writes: Business Insider reports, "Google is beta-testing a program that tracks users’ purchasing habits by registering brick-and-mortar store visits via smartphones, according to a report from Digiday. Google can access user data via Android apps or their Apple iOS apps, like Google search, Gmail, Chrome, or Google Maps. If a customer is using these apps while he shops or has them still running in the background, Google’s new program pinpoints the origin of the user data and determines if the customer is in a place of business. Google gets permission to do this kind of tracking when
... users opt in to the “location services” ... The program was hinted at in an AdWords blog post from Oct. 1 regarding Google’s new “estimated total conversions” initiative. A “conversion” in this sense is a purchase, and Google is developing ways to track users across desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Google also mentioned that tracking conversions via phone calls is in the works ..."