Thursday, February 9, 2012

Google Screenwise Panel - Pay Users $25 To Track Their Online Activity

Google is about to launch Screenwise, a project that allows them to monitor the sites users visit and how they use them. For that, participating users get paid up to $25 in gift cards over the course of a year.

Users who sign up get a $5 Amazon gift card right away, and then additional $5 gift cards for every three months they stay in the project.

According to the information posted on the Screenwise Landing panel, Google attempts to use the information to “improve Google products and services and make a better online experience for everyone”.

Participating users need to download the Google Screenwise browser extension for the Chrome web browser and use the browser for their Internet activities.

Eligible are Google account users who are at least 13 years of age. Google notes on the page that the company will not save user email addresses, or “associate it with any other personally identifiable information”.

Google has partnered up with Knowledge Networks, a research company that specializes in Internet research.

Interested users can submit their email address to receive notifications when registration opens. According to the landing page information, users will receive participation information in the coming days.

The process, even though opt-in, will certainly face its share of criticism, especially since Google is currently already facing public pressure over their privacy policy and terms of service changes.

The question is, how many users are willing to give up their privacy for 12 months for $25 in Amazon gift certificates? What’s your take on this?

Google Screenwise panel will pay you to track your every move online

Don't mind letting Google watch your every click while browsing the web? Awesome, because the folks in Mountain View want to pay you for letting them do just that. The company is recruiting panelists for a project it's calling Screenwise, a program that will give the internet behemoth more insight into how the general public uses the interwebs day in and day out.

Once you opt in, you'll receive a $5 gift card code to Amazon and for up to a year, you'll get additional spending money every three months. But how will The Goog track your mouse clicks? Just before getting paid, you'll have to download a browser extension that will keep an eye on things and send your data back to the mothership. If you're looking to make a little more dough, Ars Technica reports that you'll be able to opt for a more lucrative hardware monitoring option.

Here, you'll have to install the Screenwise Data Collector (pictured above) on your home network; however, the pay out is an initial Benjamin and $20 for every month you participate. Sound like something you'd want in on? Hit the source link below to be notified when registration opens.

Update: Google has passed along the following statement on the Screenwise project with a reminder that participation in the panel is 100% voluntary.

Like many other web and media companies, we do panel research to help better serve our users by learning more about people's media use, on the web and elsewhere. This panel is one such small project that started near the beginning of the year. Of course, this is completely optional to join.

People can choose to participate if it's of interest (or if the gift appeals) and everyone who does participate has complete transparency and control over what Internet use is being included in the panel. People can stay on the panel as long as they'd like, or leave at any time.