Amazon offers you $2 a month to spy on your smartphone

Amazon lacks user data to optimize its services. The e-commerce giant has therefore found a simple solution to get it: Pay people who are ready to give their time and personal data for money.

Amazon is offering the astronomical sum of $2 a month for a “little thing” worth billions: your personal data. An approach that allows the company to know the Amazon ads that users have seen. We naturally advise against doing that.

Dollars for data

The offer is part of “Amazon shopper panel”an application “by invitation only” that works via an app “where participants can earn monthly rewards by sharing receipts for purchases made outside of”. They can also answer “to shorten surveys and enable verification of the ads they see”. This applies both to ads from Amazon as well as those from third-party companies that advertise via Amazon ads.

Thus, it is necessary to submit 10 receipts for qualifying purchases to receive $10 worth of coupons on Amazon. The company also offers 3 reward dollars for every completed survey. Finally, it is possible to receive “additional rewards” by enabling the verification of the Amazon advertisements you see. This last option is paid 2 dollars per month.

The “Amazon Shopper Panel” app – © Amazon

In order to record data related to the ads you see from Amazon and its partners, the company directs some of your DNS traffic to its servers. So not all of your traffic goes through Amazon’s servers like a VPN can, but your smartphone will still ask the company which server to connect to, just like a DNS does.

Additionally, Amazon says the permissions granted to its app are only used to validate the ads you see. The firm also says it does not receive or share personal information with third parties. It’s up to you to see if you trust Amazon on this point.

Amazon has more to gain than you

“Amazon shopper panel” is currently only available to select enterprise customers in the US. To use it, download the application from the App Store or Google Play and receive an invitation. Once you are in the program, only certain parts of the program are available. The earning potential is therefore limited.

This raises the question of the interest of such a program for users. Even if they are willing to give up their privacy and provide a list of all their purchases to Amazon, why do it for such small sums? On the Amazon side, however, the interest is quite obvious:

Your participation will help brands offer better products and make Amazon ads more relevant.. »

Apparently, Amazon isn’t the only tech company offering these kinds of rewards. Google also does this through its Opinion Rewards program. We can also mention Facebook, which has already paid its users $20 to install an extremely indiscreet VPN.

Whatever program is offered, the benefit is always greater for “big tech” than for the users who give their time and personal data in exchange for small rewards.


The edge

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