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Tue Nov 28 2006 00:02:04

John Battelle on Google Checkout

By: Ina Steiner

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Search engine guru John Battelle blogged about Google Checkout on his blog on Monday. John wrote the book "The Search," which raised some excellent points about privacy and such issues as whether search engines are obligated or likely to protect user data when government agencies come knocking.

He raises some of those privacy concerns in Monday's blog post. While I think they are valid, one has to ask whether credit card companies, banks and PayPal are any different from Google in terms of protecting transaction data. What is different that is clear from reading his book is how much of a user's data Google has. Credit card companies do not have a customer's email correspondence, nor do they know what customers are searching for online.

One thing I am confused about in John's post. He quotes from Google Checkout's policy:

"...Transaction information - When you use Google Checkout to conduct a transaction, we collect information about each transaction, including the transaction amount, a description provided by the seller of the goods or services being purchased, the names of the seller and buyer, and the type of payment used.
Nowhere does it say that this information is shared back to the merchants. Were I a merchant, I'd be very wary of this."

Google has to give the merchant this data, how else would the merchant know what to send and to whom to send it?

In August, I compared Google Checkout to PayPal to see if there were glaring differences in the way each company deals with merchant protection against buyer fraud.

I didn't see glaring differences. I suspect merchants who are comfortable with PayPal will be open to using Google Checkout (particularly with the incentives Google is giving both merchants and customers). Is there something different about Google Checkout that PayPal merchants don't worry about?

See: "Google Has My Credit Card Number Now," posted by John Battelle on his Battelle Media blog, 11/27/06





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Readers Comments

John Battelle on Google Checkout   John Battelle on Google Checkout

by: AC

Fri Dec 8 15:06:28 2006

Ina - Can you see any reason why e-commerce sites won't have both PayPal and Google Checkout, in the same way that may on- and off-line retailers have both Visa and Mastercard?



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