Google Screenwise gives you cash for web tracking

Your endless refreshes on Facebook are worth big dollar to the search engine maestros

Fancy raking in a US$5 Amazon gift card every three months? Well, anyone in America who's over 13, has a Google account and is willing to download a Chrome plug-in to track all their web use can get just that with a voluntary new programme from Google.

Sound scary? Even though you're surrendering your private browsing history to them, Google won't link this up to you as an individual so don't worry about there being a virtual box with your name on it. What Google can do is sell what it learns from everyday people to anyone including advertisers, publishers and universities.

A second project involves Google hooking up with a survey company called Knowledge Networks and sending out actual routers to Americans (for now) who are interested in a $100 initial incentive followed by $20 a month. We're guessing this will track all data downloaded or uploaded via your browser.

Both of these would be equivalent to someone looking over your shoulder everytime you went on the internet – but without the heavy breathing and stupid YouTube vid suggestions. Would we mind? Maybe. Is this Google's next big cash cow? Almost certainly.

Sign up to Google Screenwise here.

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