Google has just introduced its Screenwise program, which allows to track Internet users in exchange for a fee that can go “up to 25 euros in gift cards.”
All U.S. users of the Chrome browser over 13 years, with an existing Google Account, can enroll in this program, the company says will help “improve its products and services and create better online experience for everyone. ”
Specifically, after registration, users will install a plugin on their browser. Each registrant will receive an Amazon gift card worth $ 5 at the time of registration, then an additional $ 5 every three months. In exchange, Google will have access, anonymously he promises, to all the sites visited by the user.
Simultaneously with this widening spy, Google provides its users, in partnership with the Institute of Knowledge Networks, to install at home a Cisco router to analyze web data from home and communicate with third. With the exception of secure pages “https” or pages viewed via a navigation “private”, as allowed by the Incognito mode in Chrome, then the data is not anonymous.
Installation of this package, which takes into account all household devices that are connected to the Internet, bring $ 100 to the user at the time of registration, then $ 20 every month. A less explicit monetization for the privacy of Internet users.
Questioned by the site ArsTechnica, a spokesman for Google said: “Sure, [the panel] is completely optional. People can choose if they are interested (or lured by gifts). […] Participants may remain on the panel as much time as they wish or leave at any time. ” It also states that members have “transparency and complete control over Internet usage in the panel analyzed.”
In recent weeks, Google dangerously agitated the red rag of privacy. In announcing the change in its privacy settings, scheduled for March 1, the firm has caused concerns of several associations for the defense of privacy. Wednesday, the US-Epic has finally filed suit against the Federal trade Commission (FTC), the federal agency responsible for commercial matters.
Epic considers that the new privacy settings do not comply with an agreement between Google and the FTC that cause the company’s “combining data from users without their consent.”