Screenwise: Google Is Putting a Price on Your Privacy

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Screenwise$25: that’s the price Google will pay you if you allow them to track your surfing experience: in other words, Google will pay you $25 so as to allow them to look over your shoulder when you browse the internet. Is this something that surprises you? Learn about Screenwise.

Well, let’s first see the details of this Google offer.

In fact, it’s an opt-in program that Google has “silently” launched where they invite some testers to opt-in to the program called Screenwise. At optin, Google will credit you with a $5 Amazon gift card. Then Google will keep paying you $5 every three months you keep enrolled in the program – the maximum amount they’ll pay you (in Amazon Gift card currency) is capped to $25 though.

I don’t know about you but I think it’s not enough paid for such a long period of voyeurism from Google (combined with whatever they already know about you). But at least, I have to reckon that it’s quite a great move from Google to be able to put a price directly to the end-user: now, it’s like Google is asking to buy whatever remaining private thing you haven’t sold out yet.

This is how Google present this initiative:

” Google is building a new panel to learn more about how everyday people use the Internet.

The new project is called Screenwise. 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.   ” 

Screenwise shares info with Google

Frankly speaking, there’s nothing wrong with Google’s move: they say upfront that the goal is to get a better understanding of your internet behavior. The Screenwise program dare to say that it’ll be sharing those information with Google (but hey, do you actually know how many other programs are running on your computer as of now that also share some of your information with other online assets?).

So, Screenwise just shout it out loud that not only will it track, but Google would even buy those data from you. Now the question is, for $25 are you willing to openly share whatever you do on the internet to an internet giant that is Google? I can see a lot of people who wouldn’t even consider that question: they would just say no.

Would you use such a program?

But I can also imagine some other people who are willing to give it a try (because there’s a great book on Amazon they want to buy, for example?). If I were interested in such program (which I am not), I would be concerned about the details that Screenwise will share with Google. For example, how can I make sure that it doesn’t record and share my login credentials on the websites I check. Moreover, when it’s time to terminate the panelist, how can I make sure that there’s nothing left on my computer that will still track my internet behavior.

In fact, as I initially said, although I am not interested with the program, I’m surprised how Google dared put a price on its user’s privacy.

Now what about you? Would you optin to that program? Why, or why not?

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