Google Screenwise: New Program Pays You To Give Up Privacy & Surf The Web With Chrome

Google is quietly taking requests from web users who want to get paid to surf the web using the Chrome browser while sharing data with Google. The program is called Screenwise and, though we’re not aware of any official announcement, Google has a signup page at www.google.com/landing/screenwisepanel.

The page explains that Google wants to create a panel of people to help it “learn more about how everyday people use the Internet.” It explains that panel members have to be at least 13 years old, have (or sign up for) a Google account and use the Chrome web browser. They also have to be willing to let Google track their web surfing activity:

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.

In exchange for that, panel members get a $5 Amazon gift card code for installing the browser extension, and then can earn another $5 Amazon code for every three months that they continue in the Screenwise program. The sign-up page advertises a $25 max total payment, but the fine print says Google will decide later what payment, if any, will be given for panelists who continue longer than a year.

Amazon isn’t involved in the promotion; Google says it’s using the online research firm Knowledge Networks as its “panel management partner” for Screenwise.

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.

We’ve reached out to Google for more information about the Screenwise panel/program and we’ll update this article if we learn more.

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