Ghostery Rewards launches in Germany
Ghostery 8.2 introduces an updated user interface and experience, and the new Ghostery Rewards feature. Ghostery Rewards was announced back in March 2018 as an opt-in system to highlight relevant deals to users based on their browsing activity.
Ghostery released the source code of the extension at the same time to improve transparency and user trust in the company's solution.
Ghostery Rewards is only available in Germany right now but the company plans to bring the feature to users in other regions including the United States in the near future.
Ghostery displays "new reward discovered" if "a set of action triggers that indicate [..] active interest in making a purchase" is discovered.
A coupon code is displayed when you activate the button. It is unclear whether you will always get a coupon code or if other offers will be presented to you as well.
The reward was triggered in Chrome while browsing the German Media Markt website. It displays a coupon code for Cyberport, another large German retailer.
One thing that is interesting about this is that Cyberport is owned by Hubert Burda Media, a German media group which is one of the largest in Germany. Hubert Burda Media majority-owns Cliqz, and Cliqz acquired Ghostery in February 2017.
Ghostery comes preloaded with all rewards. The software does not transmit personal information to Ghostery, Cliqz, or third-parties, and Ghostery states that it does not collect, process, or store data centrally on a server. It states furthermore that it does not profile users or share user data with anyone.
Ghostery Rewards operates locally, meaning it is completely contained within your browser and does not transmit personal information back to Ghostery, Cliqz, or any other third party companies.
Ghostery Rewards is powered by MyOffrz which is operated by Cliqz MyOffrz GMBH, a Cliqz subsidiary.
Manage Ghostery Rewards
Ghostery displays a setup prompt to users after installation. Users can select between one-click setup which makes all decisions for the user or a custom setup which gives users full control.
The option to participate in Ghostery Rewards and the sharing of analytics is checked by default. Users can disable these in the settings after the initial setup (or enable them).
Do the following to change the functionality:
- Activate the Ghostery icon in the browser's toolbar.
- Select the menu icon.
- Select settings when the menu opens.
- Go to opt-in.
There you have three options:
- Sharing extension usage analytics.
- Sharing Human Web data.
- Participating in Ghostery Rewards.
You can turn any of the options on or off individually.
Ghostery Rewards cannot be compared to price comparison extensions at this point in time. The offers, at least those that were displayed to me while using the extension, seem to be limited to displaying coupon codes to users that are not necessarily for the shopping site users are on.
Whether that is useful depends on individual users. The implementation appears to value user privacy by keeping things in the local browser which is good and the right decision for an extension that promises to improve user privacy on the Internet. (via Caschy)
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