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Amazon is providing some users a whole $2 a month for just one teeny, tiny factor in return: that they route their site visitors by means of an Amazon server so the corporate can hold observe of which Amazon advertisements they’ve seen. It’s apparently been doing this for months.

I’m unsure who wants to listen to this, however you Ought to! Not! Do! That!

The supply is a part of Amazon’s Shopper Panel app, an “invitation-only” program that offers you as much as $10 a month in Amazon credit score for importing receipts for purchases you made at locations aside from Amazon and filling out surveys. I’ll say once more: even for those who have been prepared to mainly surrender your privateness, which you in all probability shouldn’t be, why would you do it for only a few {dollars}? If there’s something extra private than your web site visitors, it’s a listing of the stuff you’ve purchased. Receipts can and have been used as proof in court docket.

Screenshot of Amazon’s Shopper Panel app, with the “earn rewards for opting into ad verification” screen open.

That’s a number of descriptive textual content for a single toggle.
Picture: Amazon

In the event you have been to affix the waitlist for the Shopper Panel program, get accepted, after which activate Advert Verification, you’d then be requested to activate an always-on VPN in your telephone, based on an FAQ on Amazon’s web site. The corporate says this isn’t really putting in a VPN in your gadget; as a substitute, it’s making it so all of your DNS site visitors goes to an Amazon server, which lets the corporate know whenever you see “Amazon’s personal promoting or advertisements from third-party companies that publicize by means of Amazon Advertisements.”

For my part, that’s not significantly better than if it have been operating a VPN. Certain, your whole site visitors gained’t be going by means of Amazon, however in concept your telephone remains to be asking Amazon for instructions each time it tries to hook up with a server. (That’s what DNS does.) Amazon says the app “will solely use the app permissions to verify the advertisements from Amazon that you simply see” and that it “doesn’t obtain or share any private info with third-parties,” however you’ve actually bought to belief it on that.

And, once more, the upside of this (supplied that you simply’ve saved the “VPN” on for the overwhelming majority of the month) is that on the finish you get… $2.

Amazon is much from the primary firm to have a program like this. Fb had one which gave customers $20 reward playing cards every month to run a VPN on their telephone, and in 2012 Google mentioned it’d pay customers $5 each three months for operating a Chrome extension that tracked their utilization. One other a part of this system provided $20 a month for those who used a particular router that tracked your whole family’s web utilization.

The factor that stands out about all of those packages, Amazon’s included, is simply how little cash they pay the individuals who willingly undergo a giant tech panopticon. In the event you’re the kind of one who’s not bothered by an absence of privateness, it’s best to a minimum of demand extra from a number of the most precious corporations on the planet.


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