Google Checkout launched today. The selling points are a single place to put your credit card info for multiple online sites, a fraud protection policy and anti spam measures, ie you don’t have to give you email address to the stores you buy from.
I usually sign up for most things google. But I did a stop and think when i went past the login page..the first thing it asks for is your credit card number. I know google has all my info, but I’m not too sure I want them to have that as well, yet. But digging into the ToS, I find out I can;’ anyway.
Despite having a full country listing, it turns out that I need a card from a US financial institution and that I am a resident of the US. OK, so why even allow me to choose a different country???
If I got over that hurdle, Google would then be able to run credit checks on me at any time they please. They are then going to retain information about every single transaction I make (although you can opt out of sharing the info between the part of the compnay doing the credit card stuff and the search part of the company). But that’s OK, they’re not going to sell it anywhere. they’re going to be keeping it just for themselves…the ultimate online loyalty card to track your everymove so they can target appropriate ads to you.
This could be regarded as a good thing – you’ll only ever get to see ads for things you are interested in. Then again, do you really want them to know everything you;ve bought online?