If only you could get paid to browse the web all day, am I right? Well, thanks to a new Google project called Screenwise, that dream has become a reality — provided your online privacy isn’t worth all that much to you.
The first and more lightweight Screenwise option is currently recruiting panelists (although it looks like they’re full up as of the time of this writing). As a Screenwise panelist, you agree to install a browser extension that tells Google all about every site you visit via Chrome. In exchange, you get a $5 Amazon gift card for signing up, plus another $5 gift card every three months you remain with the service, to a maximum of $25.
The second option is currently invite-only and will both earn you a lot more money and lot more invasion of privacy. Participants in this program — who must be invited to join — will earn $100 up-front and an additional $20 each month. In exchange, users have to install a special Cisco router that will report all browsing data back to Google. Except when web surfers use incognito tabs or secure sessions, all browsing data will also be personally identifiable to Google. The company is also allowed to provide aggregated data to “academic institutions, advertisers, publishers, and programming networks,” they state in their user agreement.
Still, for those with nothing to hide and no qualms about feeding Google’s massive marketing machine, it could be an easy way to make a few extra dollars each month.