Google Wants to Pay You to Track You

By | February 11, 2012
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It seems all over the Web there are privacy zealots who are really concerned about Web tracking and tracking cookies — and the like. You know how we feel by now. The more you worry about silly stuff like see seeing furniture ads for days after you’ve searched for furniture the less you worry about the really dangerous stuff like phishing, malware and rogues. But you see, while tracking evokes mass hysteria, most people don’t even know what phishing is. Everyone gets the concept of someone (?) following them around and “spying” on them, so many are in a feisty mood when told they are being “tracked” by advertisers. But they (advertisers) don’t know your name, your address or your phone number. You’re just an number to them — an IP address. To get your real name and address — they’d need a court order. You really don’t think they’re going to get a court order in order to sell you a $100 lamp, do you?

Anyway – if you don’t mind your Web surfing habits being tracked by Google – you may be able to earn some extra bucks. And if you really want to earn some spending money – Google will send you some hardware to attach to your computer that will really scrutinize you. But you know what? I’m going to search for nothing but tulips and chocolate. That’s what I’m going to do. And all the money I earn from Google I’m going to use to buy beer — or buy EB some gin. EB loves gin. That’s how I found her — slumped in the streets of Grand Rapids holding a wrinkled paper bag with a nearly empty bottle of gin inside. After I dried her out, I showed her how to use a computer — and the rest as they say, is history :-).

Here’s the skinny on Google Screenwise from Google:

Cloudeight InfoAveHelp Us Make Google Better

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.

What’s in it for you? Up to $25 in gift cards. Our panel management partner, Knowledge Networks, will give you a $5 Gift Card code instantly when you sign up and download the Google Screenwise browser extension.(1) Then you’ll get additional $5 Gift Card codes every three months for staying with it. (2 ) It’s our way of saying “Thank you.”

To be eligible to join, you must be 13 or older, have a Google Account (or sign up for one), and be ready to use the Google Chrome browser.

We appreciate and are overwhelmed by your interest at the moment. Please come back later for more details.

(1 ) is not a sponsor of this promotion. Amazon,, the logo, and the Amazon Gift Cards logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates. Gift Cards (“GCs”) may be used only for purchases of eligible goods on or its affiliated website GCs cannot be redeemed for purchases of gift cards. Except as required by law, GCs cannot be reloaded, resold, transferred for value, redeemed for cash, or applied to any other account. See for complete terms and conditions. GCs are issued and ©2012 by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation.

(2 )As we continue to develop this research experience, we will evaluate what, if any, changes will be made to gifts amounts for continuing participation beyond 12 months.

OK if you’re going to be tracked you might as well get paid for it right? Too bad that Google has been overwhelmed with requests from people who want to be tracked — for money. If you’re looking to make more money, Ars Technica reports that you’ll be able to opt to install the Screenwise Data Collector (pictured above) on your home network; however, the pay out is higher too: $10 when you sign up and then $20 for every month you participate.

See . Maybe you’ll want to bookmark it and check back. EB needs the gin – or you need the money. If you don’t need the money – send it to TC!

One thought on “Google Wants to Pay You to Track You

  1. Muriel S

    Hmmm! The $1 and change/month ($5 every 3 months) in an gift card doesn’t “ring my chimes”. I don’t know where you found the $20/month offer at the Google link, but I assume that, too, is in the form of an Amazon gift card? I would prefer to have cash deposited in my PayPal account.
    I spend hours a day visiting sites and rarely search for something to buy. I wouldn’t appreciate being “tracked” anywhere else for any amount of money. It’s none of their business and I don’t know who they’d share the information with, or who they’d sell it to. No thanks.


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