Would You Give Up Your Internet Privacy to Google for $25? (UPDATE)

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If you’re not shy about letting Google know about all the websites you visit and how you use them, the company may have a proposition for you.

Google is offering $5 Amazon gift cards for participating in a panel called Google Screenwise. Participants install an extension in Google’s Chrome browser, which tracks their web surfing activity, and earn one gift card for every three months in the program — up to $25 total.

(MORE: Microsoft Takes Aim at Google’s New Privacy Policy with Ad Campaign)

“What we learn from you, and others like you, will help us improve Google products and services and make a better online experience for everyone,” the company says on the program’s landing page. Right now, Google is taking e-mail addresses and will notify people when registration opens.

As SearchEngineLand reports, Google hasn’t made a big announcement on the program, and has yet to comment on the matter. The company is using a third-party management partner, called Knowledge Networks, to run the promotion. Amazon is not a sponsor.

It sounds a little creepy to me, seeing as the fine print doesn’t specify what will become of participants’ browsing data, and whether it’ll be personally identifiable. But with money on the line, I don’t think Google will have any trouble finding people to sign up.

MORE: Google to Merge User Data Across More Services

UPDATE (3:00pm EST): A Google spokesperson provided the following quote:

“Like many other web and media companies, we do panel research to help better serve our users by learning more about people’s media use, on the web and elsewhere. This panel is one such small project that started near the beginning of the year. Of course, this is completely optional to join. People can choose to participate if it’s of interest (or if the gift appeals) and everyone who does participate has complete transparency and control over what Internet use is being included in the panel. People can stay on the panel as long as they’d like, or leave at any time.”

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