According to the ‘Screenwise Panel’ page, Google pays $5 for signing up for this program and additional $5 for every three months for sticking with it. So over all, $25 offer for compromising your internet privacy by sharing your browsing activities with Google. Browser activities includes, pages you visit, timing details like how long you stayed in the page, and I am not sure, but it seems it also includes tracking of your mouse movements and clicks.
You may sign up for this in Google’s Screen wise Page, anyways, for now Google holds the new signups but soon you may see a registration form or ‘kind of’ in that location.
Lately I got to know Bing is running similar program to collect data from user, known as “Bing Rewards” which is available only for US territory users. Bing with Amazon Gift cards also has it’s own way of paying back the users in terms of subscriptions for online services like XBox live memberships etc,. Like Chrome extension for Screenwise, Bing Rewards needs a browser toolbar.
Google ScreenWise vs Microsoft Bing Rewards
It seems Bing Rewards($40) pay more than Google ScreenWise, but only if you participate daily. Google can pay up to $25 per year at max, but the rules are flexible, for example you can deactivate the plugin if you don’t want Google to track your particular browsing session.
What Google and Microsoft do with the collected data?
They use the data to find patterns of browsing and other searching patterns, mouse movements and clicks which helps them to optimize their services. Lets say for example, from the collected data Google finds more mouse over movements in the left side of the search result page when compared to the right hand side, then it may help them to decide place the Advertisements on the left side of the page for more conversions (Clicks). Like wise these data may used in lots of ways for improving their services.
Concluding this, not every one attracted to this kind of programs, even though Google or Microsoft is not going to disclose these details to others. If you feel it is worth to share your personal browsing details for $25 or something you may sign up for these programs. Decision is yours, is it worth compromising your privacy?