Google is inviting users to take part in a new scheme that will allow the web giant to track their behaviour online, rewarding them with Amazon gift cards for their troubles.
The new Google Screenwise programme will pay its volunteer “panellists” as much as $25 (£16) in Amazon gift cards – a $5 voucher for signing up and more depending on how long they stay on board. Amazon is not involved in the promotion.
Anyone signing up will have to download a browser extension, allowing Google to track their movements online in even more detail than they already do. Participants have to be aged over 13 and anyone younger than 18 will need parental consent.
On the panel homepage, Google wrote:
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 and services and make a better online experience for everyone.
Google says it’s using the online research firm Knowledge Networks as its “panel management partner” for Screenwise.
Google is planning to introduce new privacy rules from March 1, which would allow the search engine to share information about users between services such as Gmail and YouTube.
The Screenwise Panel web page says the firm has been “overwhelmed” with interest and urges visitors to come back later.
It says: “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.”