Amazon has a new feature in its Shopper Panel that pays users $2 a month to monitor their phones.
The Ad Verification program is part of the invite-only Amazon Shopper Panel program. When users opt-in, it allows Amazon to track which ads the user sees as they use their device.
That is a worrying privacy concern, with Amazon being able to see your browsing data.
The way the feature is enabled is also worrying. Amazon requires users to replace their DNS provider with DNS servers maintained by the company.
That allows for ad tracking and access to information about the user’s browsing habits.
From Amazon’s FAQ about the program, the DNS server will provide a “different, Amazon-owned IP address that allows us to confirm you saw an ad from Amazon, and where and when you saw it, for example the app or website where you viewed the ad and the time of day you viewed it.”
The Ad Verification program is only available in the US and UK. It’s also invite-only, with Amazon not releasing details of how they choose participants.
Is your privacy only worth $2 a month? We don’t think so, and neither should anyone else.
Meta had a similar program, the “Facebook Research” app, that paid teenagers $20 monthly to monitor their mobile phones. The company shut the app down in 2019 amid mounting pressure.
Google also had a similar program that snooped on everything a user did on the internet and paid them in Amazon gift cards. Again, that was shut down in 2019.
The thing is, these companies already know everything about us. Please don’t give them more access to your private data. It’s yours. Don’t let Amazon monitor your mobile phone.
Have any thoughts on this? Carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.