Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Google to pay users to browse - so the search giant can watch every link they click -

Google to pay users to browse - so the search giant can watch every link they click - 
Google is watching you

Google is to pay computer users to browse the web so the search giant watches every link they click. 
'Panelists' in the new Google Screenwise programme will be paid up to $25 in Amazon gift cards.
The payments offer an insight into how much web users' private data - usually harvested by giants such as Facebook and Google without payment - is worth. 
Users have to download a browser extension, which allows Google to monitor which sites they visit and how they use them.
Popular blog Search Engine Land said, 'The timing of this program seems odd, especially considering the backlash that Google has faced over the upcoming changes to its privacy policy.'
'Even though this Screenwise program is completely opt-in, some critics are bound to question why Google needs more data about web searchers and the websites they visit.'
European regulators wrote to Google CEO Larry Page last week calling on the search giant to halt the introduction of its new 'one-size-fits-all' privacy policy
The policy was due to come into effect on March 1, and would allow Google to share what it knows about users between services such as Google Search, Gmail and YouTube.
The move horrified privacy advocates and bloggers - tech site ZDNet said that Google would 'know more about you than your wife does' and said the policy was 'Big Brother-ish'.
The Screenwise page says that the company is currently 'overwhelmed' by interest in the programme. 
'As a panelist, you'll add a browser extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them. What we learn from you, and others like you, will help us improve Google products,' says the company. 
Users are given a $5 gift card for signing up, then receive further $5 cards every month as long as they remain signed up.

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