Feb 09, 2012

What would it take for you to allow a company to REALLY track all of your web use?

Google's Screenwise data collection program has made the headlines as Google offers payment in return for Internet users allowing all of their internet activity to be tracked. Ok, that sounds fair enough. You know they are looking, you are getting cold hard cash (or room temp gift cards), and they get valuable information in return. What would it take to get the average user to agree to this, and if you did do it, would you change your internet use because you are being watched? Maybe I would get used to it after a while, but it would take a long time to stop feeling like I was doing everything in full view of complete strangers.

They can keep their freaking money and the lame gift cards. I have no interest in being spied on while I'm using the web in such a blatant and direct way. I doubt very much that they are offering much in the way of compensation for such an egregious violation of someone's privacy.

Thanks but no thanks Google.

I would definitely consider it if there is sufficient compensation, although it's hard for me to think of a specific number.  The reality is, though, I would probably modify my browsing to some extent.  Sitting around talking with friends at home sometimes leads to unusual topics of conversation that can lead to searches on weird topics.  I'm not sure that I would to do that with some of our more, er, exotic topics of debate knowing every search was being tracked.  It would seem likely to me that other people would be similar and self-censor themselves to some degree.  Even so, getting paid to do something that you would do anyway does have its appeal, and the majority of the information would probably still have value for Google.   

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