As soon as you start using the Internet, your actions are tracked by specialized companies. This not only includes web server logs but also third party tracking through advertisement, social networking scripts and other third party scripts.
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 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?
Update: The Screenwise website is no longer available. We have removed the link as a consequence.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.