Google is quietly launching a new program called Screenwise aimed at collected more data from users than is possible from monitoring activity across Google-owned sites. The program comes in two flavors: a browser-based extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them, and a Cisco-made, Knowledge Networks-managed "black box" installed on your home network to measure Internet use. The first program pays users up to $25 in Amazon gift cards, the second pays $100 for signing up, and an additional $20 every month the device is installed up to a maximum of one year. To be eligible for the programs users must have a Google account, install and use Chrome, and be 13 or older. Ars Technica has excerpts from leaked sign up process documents:
According to legal agreements displayed during signup, Google will share the aggregated data with third parties, including "academic institutions, advertisers, publishers, and programming networks." The agreement notes that the data collected will be personally identifiable, with some exceptions: https addresses and private browsing windows of people using the router will not be tracked. The browser extension, however, will track private or incognito browsing, though the data will not be personally identifiable. For all other collected data, Google will "attempt" to remove that identifiable info before sharing it—no guarantees, though.
Google set up a sting operation to prove that rival Microsoft search engine Bing is cheating, using Internet Explorer to track users' Google search results and mining that data to improve Bing. Here's the proof.
posted by 2bucksplus
on Feb 1, 2011 -