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Old 11-13-2017, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Keller, TX
5,654 posts, read 5,062,853 times
Reputation: 4061

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I'll try to make this short. My co-worker has a friend who lives several states away who has a Bitcoin wallet but is prohibited from purchasing Bitcoin through Coinbase (something about losing the ability to purchase through CB in the wake of the Silk Road takedown). My co-worker has a Coinbase account and said he would purchase some Bitcoin for his friend and then transfer it to his Bitcoin wallet (Coinbase allows this).

They arranged this over text. My co-worker has an Android phone and his friend an iPhone. They used Google Wallet for the transfer of a couple thousand dollars. The transaction went through. But Google then canceled the Google Wallet account for BOTH my co-worker and his friend, and sent a notice to both about a ToS violation having to do with the purchase of a financial product or currency. It allowed no appeal and was light on specifics.

But how did Google know that was going to be the ultimate usage of the money transferred through Google Wallet? My co-worker moved the money to his checking account and is planning to purchase Bitcoin through Coinbase with its connection to that checking account. So Google Wallet was only used to move money from one person to the other, after that the money moved to checking, then would be turned into Bitcoin, then the Bitcoin would be transferred using Coinbase to the friend's Bitcoin Wallet.

The only possibility we could come up with was that Google monitored the texts that came in and went out through his Android phone, possibly with the assistance of an AI system (since there are two billion Android devices in use), and then made the connection that the money transferred through Google Wallet was going to be used to purchase Bitcoin. It may be the case that the friend is on some kind of list that Google has access to (though that's just a guess) but even with that wrinkle it seems that Google had to be using text messages to make some kind of connection.

I do think this was a violation, in totality, at least in spirit, and losing a free service isn't the end of the world, but I'm more curious how they made the assessment. To make this more general and less of an individual question, what can you tell me about Google's use of email, text, contact data, location data etc. for the purpose of catching various types of violations? Or, is there some possibility we may be missing? Thank you for reading.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:09 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,147,029 times
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Something flagged it for sure. But when you transfer that kinda lump sum via google wallet it will raise a flag. I wouldnt use google wallet for bitcoin transactions period.. nothing to trace if it screws up
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Keller, TX
5,654 posts, read 5,062,853 times
Reputation: 4061
Thanks for your reply.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitpausebutton2 View Post
Something flagged it for sure. But when you transfer that kinda lump sum via google wallet it will raise a flag.
I think it was $2K or $3K (not even enough for half a BTC). I wouldn't have thought that kind of amount would receive increased scrutiny (including going through texts).
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitpausebutton2 View Post
I wouldnt use google wallet for bitcoin transactions period.. nothing to trace if it screws up
It's just odd because there are at least two degrees of separation (the money first goes from Google Wallet to checking account, then from checking account to Coinbase, then is turned into BTC, then the BTC gets transferred through Coinbase to another Coinbase user).
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,206 posts, read 8,862,608 times
Reputation: 12524
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nepenthe View Post
I'll try to make this short. My co-worker has a friend who lives several states away who has a Bitcoin wallet but is prohibited from purchasing Bitcoin through Coinbase (something about losing the ability to purchase through CB in the wake of the Silk Road takedown). My co-worker has a Coinbase account and said he would purchase some Bitcoin for his friend and then transfer it to his Bitcoin wallet (Coinbase allows this).

They arranged this over text. My co-worker has an Android phone and his friend an iPhone. They used Google Wallet for the transfer of a couple thousand dollars. The transaction went through. But Google then canceled the Google Wallet account for BOTH my co-worker and his friend, and sent a notice to both about a ToS violation having to do with the purchase of a financial product or currency. It allowed no appeal and was light on specifics.

But how did Google know that was going to be the ultimate usage of the money transferred through Google Wallet? My co-worker moved the money to his checking account and is planning to purchase Bitcoin through Coinbase with its connection to that checking account. So Google Wallet was only used to move money from one person to the other, after that the money moved to checking, then would be turned into Bitcoin, then the Bitcoin would be transferred using Coinbase to the friend's Bitcoin Wallet.

The only possibility we could come up with was that Google monitored the texts that came in and went out through his Android phone, possibly with the assistance of an AI system (since there are two billion Android devices in use), and then made the connection that the money transferred through Google Wallet was going to be used to purchase Bitcoin. It may be the case that the friend is on some kind of list that Google has access to (though that's just a guess) but even with that wrinkle it seems that Google had to be using text messages to make some kind of connection.

I do think this was a violation, in totality, at least in spirit, and losing a free service isn't the end of the world, but I'm more curious how they made the assessment. To make this more general and less of an individual question, what can you tell me about Google's use of email, text, contact data, location data etc. for the purpose of catching various types of violations? Or, is there some possibility we may be missing? Thank you for reading.
I am glad you tried to make this short...
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Keller, TX
5,654 posts, read 5,062,853 times
Reputation: 4061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
I am glad you tried to make this short...
Thanks for your input.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,274 posts, read 13,304,600 times
Reputation: 7447
Google did not read your texts, put it altogether and then cancel your account.
There are SURELY limits to how much money you can transfer. They didn't say exactly what in the ToS you violated?
Also it isn't Google Wallet anymore. If your app is still called Google Wallet it was cancelled because that doesn't exist anymore.
It's called Android Pay now.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Keller, TX
5,654 posts, read 5,062,853 times
Reputation: 4061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Google did not read your texts, put it altogether and then cancel your account.
It's not me, but my co-worker came to me to help him figure out how / why they did this. Still at a loss, if it didn't involve something to do with the texts they exchanged.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
There are SURELY limits to how much money you can transfer.
Let's look it up: https://support.google.com/wallet/an...DDesktop&hl=en
Quote:
How much you can send

You can send up to $9,999 USD in one transaction or up to $10,000 USD in 7 days.
The amount was well under $9,999, and was the only amount either of them was transacting for the week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
They didn't say exactly what in the ToS you violated?
No, I mentioned it had to do with financial products in my original post. My colleague forwarded the message to my email, this is what they gave him:
Quote:
It has come to our attention that activity in your Google Wallet Account does not comply with our Terms of Service, specifically transactions related to Financial or other regulated products, services, securities, and stored value - click here for more information. As a result, your account has been closed. It is our policy to not discuss the specific reasons for an account closure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Also it isn't Google Wallet anymore. If your app is still called Google Wallet it was cancelled because that doesn't exist anymore. It's called Android Pay now.
Incorrect. Google Wallet is alive and well. I'm staring at it on his phone right now.

https://www.google.com/wallet/

https://gizmodo.com/android-pay-vs-g...nce-1707696252
Quote:
A Googler tells us that Wallet will continue as a peer-to-peer payment system, and the physical Google Wallet card will stick around too. Android Pay is for tap to pay, and Wallet is for transferring money between friends and over the internet.
Sorry, I'm not really seeing any other explanation.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:32 PM
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Location: Ohio
16,707 posts, read 32,798,848 times
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Pretty sure the government requires money-handling institutions to review transactions of $1K+, for money laundering and drug-trafficking reasons. Your buddy should have transfered $999 a couple of times instead.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Keller, TX
5,654 posts, read 5,062,853 times
Reputation: 4061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
Pretty sure the government requires money-handling institutions to review transactions of $1K+, for money laundering and drug-trafficking reasons. Your buddy should have transfered $999 a couple of times instead.
I believe you're thinking of $10,000, not $1000. And five transactions of $2001 each would trigger the additional required scrutiny just as one transaction of $10,005 would. Furthermore, transferring money to someone so that the other person can purchase BTC is not unlawful. It is a violation of Google Wallet's ToS, yes, but the question remains -- how did they know if not by reading texts? The Bitcoin wasn't even purchased yet by my colleague.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,274 posts, read 13,304,600 times
Reputation: 7447
Damn, I looked everywhere for the limit and couldn't find it. Because I was looking at ANDROID PAY.

Also did not know Google Wallet was sticking around. Really? I hated when they switched to (added?)
Android Pay.

Anyway, unless you are using Google Hangouts for texting, or another Google product, Google cannot read your text messages. I think you're not getting the whole story from one of these people. Are you sure the title of the transaction wasn't "For the bitcoin purchase".
lol
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