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Google Screenwise Program Will Pay You To Reveal Your Surfing

     
6:18 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google Screenwise Program Will Pay You To Reveal Your Surfing [eweek.com]
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is willing to pay online surfers to browse the Web and share data about their travels with the search engine giant.

The company has begun soliciting users for its Screenwise program, in which it will pay Chrome users in Amazon gift cards to surf Websites. Users must install a lightweight browser extension, which will pass along data about Websites they visit via Chrome to Google.

"What we learn from you, and others like you, will help us improve Google products and services and make a better online experience for everyone," Google wrote on the Screenwise landing page. Participants must 13 years old or older, have a Google Account and, of course, use Chrome.

Participants will receive a $5 Amazon gift card code for simply installing the Screenwise browser extension. Users can earn another $5 Amazon code for every three months that they continue in the Screenwise program, totalling up to $25 total credit in Amazon codes.



Wow, that's quite a change. Would you reveal your surfing habits for a few dollars?

[google.com...]
6:26 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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25 bucks a year? No thanks.
6:40 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Really surprised they're paying anything at all.
6:53 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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>Really surprised they're paying anything at all.

Yeah, that surprised me, too.
7:52 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Many articles about Facebook's recent IPO filing have stated the value of a user's profile (to marketers) at somewhere around $125.00 (US).

If the same is true for Google, that $25 relates to a 20% cost of good. In business terms, "product" at the wholesale level should sell for 5x cost of goods -- so the math is about right, and "users" are raw materials.

I wonder if you have a higher annual income, drive a better car, live in more expensive house and shop at higher end stores than "average folks" if the personal data herders will consider you a "USDA Grade A Prime User" and pay a bit more for you... <grin>moo-moo, baa-baa</grin>
8:57 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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wow, ok well just come out and just ask people to install black box data collectors in their homes.


RUN!
9:54 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think this concept has been tried before .. many years back... and it failed.
9:58 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This program is a joke. No thanks
9:58 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If anyone finds the User-Agent for this extension (assuming it's open and not stealth) I for one will use it to block visitors. It's not just chrome users who are being shafted: web site owners will suffer from this as well.

If it's stealth then I need to consider blocking chrome users. Which has already crossed my mind. :(
10:15 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Will these people be typical of the kind of site visitor that is valuable to advertisers?
10:30 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I thought they already knew anyway. May as well get paid for it
11:57 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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it will pay Chrome users in Amazon gift cards

Lots of food for speculation there. Do they get a kickback from Amazon? Or just buy the gift cards at a bulk discount? And why Chrome users only? I would have thought everything but Chrome, since they're already getting the Chrome data for free. Uhm. Aren't they?
12:23 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Meet the 21st-century Nielson families.

Hmm. $25. Tempting, I must say. But not because I need the money, although mind you that is some serious coin. It's just that I'd really like to share my daily routine with Larry -- to wit:

Hang out at Wolfram-Alpha for a while. Then cruise over to the official Katy Perry fan site. Then over to Cornell's law database. Then dish about the Kardashians over at E-Online. And wrap it up with some quality time at Webmaster World.
12:36 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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install black box data collectors

It's already done. I recently blocked a Google IP range which was calling home from Firefox even when I was working on a copy of my web site on my Win PC using IIS and there is not one character of G code on any of these pages.
So what triggered this ?

I now use a little, unknown browser for local work which does not call home ;o)
12:55 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Absolutely not, my privacy is worth more to me than $5 every three months, it's insulting.
1:14 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Do you think we will be able to gain a list of participants and then bribe them to visit our sites. I mean it worked that way for the record industry.......
1:29 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It's more likely being done to evade government privacy crackdowns.

If the surfer is getting paid even $1.00 by Google, I believe that means the user has entered a contract to allow the data collection. This will make a much better legal argument for Google than "we provide them with search services" or "we provide them with mapping/browsing/mobile OS/etc software at no cost in exchange for allowing us to collect, store and market their data".

IAMNAL, but I believe the basic precept of contract law is that in order for a contract to be put into force, the parties must formalize the terms of the agreement and exchange something of value.

In other, but apparently related news.... since Google's Screenwise has partnered with "Knowledge Networks" to do these things..

GfK acquires Knowledge Networks
Nuremberg, December 9, 2011 – GfK will be acquiring 100% ownership of Knowledge Networks Inc., a leading provider of digital research solutions in the US. Through the acquisition, GfK demonstrates its commitment to drive growth, in the US and globally, by providing the highest quality research solutions, tailored to the new realities of the digital age....

[gfkamerica.com...]
"GfK" is: GfK SE Data Services, Nordwestring 101, Nuernberg, DE, --- (the "DE" stands for Deutschland a.k.a. Germany, not Delaware).
1:29 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Meet the 21st-century Nielson families.


Nielsen ratings were often skewed by people who actually did not watch the shows they claimed. Many just checked off shows randomly in order to complete the process, or in the case of electronic monitoring, just left the TV on. That being said, I wonder how many people will serf randomly just to get the gift card.

Lots of food for speculation there. Do they get a kickback from Amazon?


Makes me wonder about the seemingly Amazon leaning SERPs. Coincidence?

Marshall
2:42 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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In the last few months I noticed GfK DE a couple of times.
It came by one of my sites with the regular Googlebot as UA and got booted because of the DE IP number
3:09 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I recall, just a few years ago, that folks were commenting on Bing's "Cash Back" program! Gee, what will these guys (not) do to get ahead?
3:27 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What will they think of next?

Trust them to "organize the world’s information" accordingly...
4:51 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Participants must be 13 years old or older


I think this is the part that bothers me the most. The word 'predatory' comes to mind. Who is most likely to think $25 is worth installing something they probably don't fully understand?
5:33 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So now personal privacy is worth $25? How low have we sunk?
9:01 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hand over all your data for minimal payment? What is this Adsense for Individuals? ;)
9:20 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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A new antichrist is born, look at the banks they do the same.
9:23 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Do they get a kickback from Amazon? Or just buy the gift cards at a bulk discount?


Regardless, they get to mine a users purchases on Amazon.

How long before Google rolls out their own reader? :)
9:33 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not for me, but I can see the program being popular with teenagers who might want to buy a game or something from Amazon.
3:13 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This may an attempt by Google to get some of the data currently off limits behind the Facebook firewall.
Secondly, if G can educate people into seeing that their profiles have value it would create financial difficulties for Facebook, seeing as they will soon a have a billion members.
3:54 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Let me see, I charge 50 an hour for my services.

Google wants to pay me 25 bucks to monitor EVERYTHING I do over a protracted period of time. This includes anything exchanged on my home network or those times I get bored and fire up private browser and dare I say surf a little *orn. Not to mention this will help them target my affiliate sites even better.

Are you flipping kidding me?

This is like the 3 little pigs in the brick house opening the door and saying "come in mr wolf, we believe you won't eat us".

Sorry, but they would have to pay me a lot more than 25 backs to get a raw feed into my life.

People say they already do, well no they don't. I don't use any Google products and currently give them ZERO in data from my online activities and never will.
4:24 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Spyware is nothing new. We and Google know full well that they dont need to pay anything for this type of data from the types of users they are targetting. They are choosing to make a small financial transaction with a large number of users, for legal reasons.
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