Google Will Now Pay You To Track Everything You Do Online, Via A Black Box

Would you sell off your privacy in return for a $5 gift card every three months? Ars Technica reports:

Google quietly started up the Screenwise data collection program Tuesday night, taking the e-mail addresses of people interested in “add[ing] a browser extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them.” For their participation, Google offers users a $5 Amazon gift card for every three months they stay with the program. Less publicly, Google also started looking for people who would install a piece of hardware on their network to do more extensive monitoring.


  • Rex Vestri

    Wow! What a fantastic deal!  Completely whore yourself out to Google for a whopping $1.66 per month in Amazon store credit (or would that be whore credit?).  Gosh golly gee wizz, where do I sign up?

    • Server

       Well, it is probably cheaper than would be worth it, but it’s not like you couldn’t just fire up VirtualBox and run a different browser inside that (or possibly even just run a different browser, no VM required).  But at $5 for 3 months, even that seems not worth it.  They’re perhaps on the right track, but they’ll have to make it more enticing than that.

      • Zenc

        You may be amazed at the things people will do for just a little bit of money…

        • Men With Sticks

           such as studying worthless topics in grad school just to get a small stipend, rather than getting a real job.


    • Men With Sticks

       millions of people allow the Nelson television ratings company to track their television viewing in exchange for a gift basket full of peanut brittle and fruit juice. Google is at least offering cash-equivalents.

  • Dancehall

    i get better deals with my stop n shop card. i would let them track me if they gave me free netflix. they would see that i have exquisite taste and i watch  the finest …… porn. i think they want to mostly track cheap people to figured out how to get them to spend their savings. 

  • Stein Leirvik

    no, no and NO 

  • DeepCough

    Five bucks? That might work for Ren and Stimpy, but I’m neither Ren or Stimpy.

  • mondofeegle

    I was recruited for this via snail mail a few months ago.  They kept sending me stuff, which I instantly trashed after reading about it the first time.  Finally someone called and asked why on earth I hadn’t jumped all over it and I told her that I had serious privacy issue concerns with it.  She argued with me basically saying there were no privacy issues involved since I would be voluntarily participating. O_o

  • Okarin

    they probably correctly priced this in as the ones who sign up are those who have all their value sucked out of them by mainstream culture and using this to make money so google is giving them what their data is worth

  • Anonymous

    It’s not even good marketing analysis, since the ONLY people desperate enough to allow it are those for whom 5,00 US$ every three months is a lot of money and who aren’t educated enough to realize this is an invasive practice.

  • Johann VonRodkrammer

    Fuck Google’s ass with a flaming rusty sword. I hope their family’s die in a house fire on xmas day. Wow, I now realize my privacy is a hot button issue.

    • Johann Vonrodkrammer

      families* pooh

  • SoulArbiter

    “Who watches the Watchmen?”

    • jsverle

       Pervs. (The Watchmen Watchers). Pervs.

  • jsverle


  • Brian Mitchell

    So many folks install toolbars that do just this for no money, not realizing it.  I’d also bet that some smart folks will find a way to get the boxes & rig them to help them get better Google rankings….