Advertisers target you online. Later, you make a related purchase at a terrestrial store. Connecting those two things has long been “described as the ‘holy grail’ of digital advertising.” Now, with the help of some powerful algorithms and the data from billions of credit card transactions, Google is trying to successfully make the link. “Google executives say they are using complex, patent-pending mathematical formulas to protect the privacy of consumers when they match a Google user with a shopper who makes a purchase in a brick-and-mortar store. The mathematical formulas convert people’s names and other personal information into anonymous strings of numbers.” (And besides, when has a giant tech company ever infringed on your privacy?) From WaPo: Google now knows when its users go to the store and buy stuff.