Financial services often possess a wealth of information about user spending and transactions. After “Privacy settings” in Google Pay were erroneously hidden, Google is moving to better emphasize and expose them to users.
Earlier this week, a Reddit user reading the Google Pay privacy notice spotted a link to a settings page that differed from the main preferences. Accessing the page via the former URL revealed a “Privacy settings” section that features three additional options:
- Allow Google Payment Corporation to share third party creditworthiness information about you with other companies owned and controlled by Google LLC for their everyday business purposes.
- Allow your personal information to be used by other companies owned and controlled by Google LLC to market to you. Opting out here does not impact whether other companies owned and controlled by Google LLC can market to you based on information you provide to them outside of Google Payment Corporation.
- Allow Google LLC or its affiliates to inform a third party merchant, whose site or app you visit, whether you have a Google Payments account that can be used for payment to that merchant. Opting out may impact your ability to use Google Payments to transact with certain third party merchants.
These preferences, which are enabled by default, allow users to limit data sharing with and marketing from other parts of Google. The last option relates to informing third party merchants, with Google warning that opting out could affect Pay transactions on other sites.
The issue today is how these “Privacy settings” do not appear in the main preferences accessible from the Google Pay app or the web when the sites are otherwise identical. When reached out for comment by Bleeping Computer, Google blamed this inconsistency on a “previous software update.”
The company is now “working to fix this right away so that these privacy settings are always visible on pay.google.com.” In the grand scheme, this does not seem overly nefarious and could have been an oversight during a past site update.