Do you know that your personal information is more valuable to cybercriminals than your credit card info? It can be. Tap or click here to see 10 accounts more valuable to cybercriminals than your credit card.
Knowing that, would you allow Amazon to track your online activity for a small fee? The company started a new program designed to learn your habits to provide more specific targeted ads.
Read on to find out how this program works and if handing over your data is worth a nominal fee.
Here’s the backstory
Amazon has an invitation-only program called Amazon Shopper Panel, where you can earn rewards for doing certain things. For example, you can earn a $10 reward by uploading 10 eligible receipts per month.
This is presumably part of Amazon’s system to track customers’ purchases at other retailers. You can also earn rewards by answering short surveys about brands or products. The rewards are paid to your Amazon Balance, or you can elect to have it donated to a predetermined charity.
But another part of the program is a bit more intrusive. By introducing its ad verification system, Amazon wants to confirm the ads you see online. Essentially, it wants to track your traffic so you can earn a not-so-impressive $2 a month.
“The Amazon Shopper Panel app will collect and use information about where and when you see ads from Amazon, for example, the app or website where you viewed the ad and the time of day you viewed it,” Amazon explains.
It also said that the program helps make ads more relevant and will always handle your information following Amazon’s Privacy Notice.
How to join the Amazon Shopper Panel
The Amazon Shopper Panel is an exclusive club of invited members. You can’t join the program without first receiving an invitation. But you can be proactive if you really want to participate.
Amazon explains that your device will receive unique Amazon DNS configuration settings and will connect to the internet as usual through your IP address. Just follow the onscreen prompts after downloading and opening the app.
You will see tabs at the bottom of the screen for Rewards, Surveys, Ads and Receipts. Click each tab when you open the app for the first time to join the waitlist for each feature you want to participate in. For example, click Receipts to join the waitlist to enter receipts. Surveys should be available without having to wait.
Whenever you are shown an Amazon ad, your device automatically gets an Amazon-owned IP address that lets it confirm you saw the ad. The information collected includes where and when you saw it, the app or website where you viewed the ad and the time of day you viewed it.
Even though almost everyone willingly provides social media and other websites with data, $2 a month hardly seems worth it just for Amazon to track you.