Amazon Will Pay You to Shop (Be Very Afraid)

Perks for you equal more data for corporations.

If you’re in a devilish mood and want to stop a party in its tracks (holiday or otherwise), just try bringing up the ethics of Amazon  (AMZN) – Get Free Report in polite conversation.

While you may or may not be greeted with fiery opinions or even stone-cold silence over the awkwardness of it all, there’s one thing for sure: Americans have an unreasonably high level of tolerance when it comes to supporting Amazon despite claims of terrible working conditions, stacks of lawsuits and a long list of other troubles over the years.

Still, millions of Amazon Prime subscribers pay every year for access to two-day and same-day shipping and all the perks that come with it.

We’ve already given away so much of our personal information to big data companies, not to mention the oh-so-convenient Alexa product line that may or may not be listening to you at all times. Some might wonder what the point is of trying to protect your data in a world where everything has become so blissfully easy. It’s worth the trade, right?

That said, if you feel you haven’t given away quite enough information about yourself to people trying to sell you something, Amazon has something new for you to do with your down time.

Amazon Will Pay You To Share Your Traffic Data

Amazon now offers a program called the Shopper Panel, which is an invitation-only program that offers Amazon users several ways to earn rewards.

The first invites users to share receipts from retail purchases made anywhere other than Amazon. Uploading 10 receipts earns you a $10 reward (but you cannot upload more than 10 per month), which you can spend on Amazon or give to a charity.


The program also offers surveys, which pay varying amounts depending on the survey itself, and Ad Verification, which will pay users $2 to allow Amazon to see which ads users see on their mobile devices. This, Amazon says, is so it can improve the ad quality for the consumer (as if we wanted to see ads to begin with).

For those that feel like that’s a little intrusive, Amazon has clarified how it all works on its website.

Amazon’s Data Harvesting

“Amazon only receives information that panelists explicitly choose to share via the Shopper Panel, such as the information extracted from uploaded receipts (including product or retailer names), survey responses, or ads seen from Amazon’s own advertising or third-party businesses that advertise through Amazon Ads. Amazon deletes any sensitive information from receipts shared, such as prescription information from drug store receipts.”

While the program is not dissimilar to Google’s own Opinion Rewards program, it does jolt one a little into remembering just how much our personal data is harvested for the benefit of corporations. So yeah, you can get a few bucks off your next Amazon order. But in exchange, you’re giving away another facet of your privacy. Is it worth it?

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