Google is offering Web users who enroll in its new Screenwise project the chance to earn $25 over a one-year period—so long as you let the company track which websites you visit.
Participants must be over 13 years of age, have a Google account and have the company’s browser installed on their computer. They’ll then be required to install a browser extension which will pass on information about the websites visited and how they’re used.
“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 said on its Screenwise webpage.
The low-key project, being run by Google management partner Knowledge Networks, is supposed to help the Web giant “learn more about how everyday people use the Internet.” Such ‘everyday’ people will receive $25 not in cash but in Amazon gift cards. Still interested?
Sign up and download the Screenwise browser extension and you’ll be immediately entitled to your first five bucks. After that you’ll receive five bucks every three months for one year.
A Google spokesperson commented on the project, saying, “Like many other web and media companies, we do panel research to help better serve our users by learning more about people’s media use, on the web and elsewhere. This panel is one such small project that started near the beginning of the year.”
News of Google’s new project comes at a time when the Mountain View company is facing criticism from many quarters over its plans to roll out new privacy policies and terms of service on March 1.
No doubt Screenwise will raise a few more eyebrows among some members of the Web community, though Google makes clear that it’s up to the individual whether they want to get involved. “Of course, this is completely optional to join,” the spokesperson said. “People can choose to participate if it’s of interest (or if the gift appeals) and everyone who does participate has complete transparency and control over what Internet use is being included in the panel. People can stay on the panel as long as they’d like, or leave at any time.”
If $25 for surfing the Web sounds appealing, and you don’t mind Google tracking the pages you visit, then hop over to the Screenwise page here.