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Would You Let Amazon Monitor Your Phone Data for $2 a Month?

Amazon is offering users $2 per month to track ad data in its new Ad Verification program. But what is the purpose of this scheme, how can you sign up, and what are the concerns surrounding it?

What Is Amazon’s Ad Verification Program?

Amazon’s new Ad Verification program is a voluntary scheme in which customers can take part for a small monthly payment, according to an Insider article. Participants will need to give Amazon the ability to track when and where they’re shown specific ads when using the platform. This will include ads produced by Amazon, as well as third-party ads from other vendors via Amazon Ads.

It seems that Amazon’s Ad Verification program comes under the umbrella of the company’s Shopper Panel, a scheme that pays users in return for uploading receipts from purchases made outside of Amazon.

Amazon stated on a Shopper Panel webpage that users can “upload 10 eligible receipts per month by using the Amazon Shopper Panel app to take pictures of paper receipts or by forwarding email receipts to [email protected] [and then] earn $10 towards either an Amazon Balance or a charitable donation.” It is also stated that customers can earn rewards by completing surveys.

But Amazon’s Ad Verification program will take things a step further, as you’ll need to grant the company access to your traffic data. But if you want to get stuff from Amazon without sharing receipts or data, you can also become an Amazon Vine Reviewer to get free items.

Taking Part in Amazon’s Ad Verification Program

smartphone screen displaying various application icons

At the moment, Amazon’s Ad Verification program is invite-only, meaning not just anyone can join. You must be within the US or UK to be eligible for this scheme, and you’ll need to download the Amazon Shopper Panel app to sign up.

Download: Amazon Shopper Panel for Android | iOS (Free)

Amazon is also only letting a limited number of users join the program at the time of writing. On the app, you can check whether there is space available and join the waiting list to be notified when a slot frees up. The Shopper Panel app can also be used for other reward activities, like uploading receipts and answering survey questions.

On the app, there is a toggle bar that allows you to activate or deactivate the app verification feature. So, if you have been selected as part of the Ad Verification program, you can opt-out anytime.

Concerns Surrounding The Scheme

privacy please sign

Amazon’s Ad Verification program may sound great to some, but concerns have been raised over how it will affect customer privacy. Criticism over Amazon’s use of customer data is nothing new, with products and services like the Alexa smart speaker having stirred controversy with reports that Amazon retains Alexa voice recordings unless deleted by the user.

In Amazon’s privacy notice, it is stated that the company will “use [users’] personal information to display interest-based ads for features, products, and services that might be of interest to [users].” This is the case just for general Amazon customers, and it is unknown how much further data collection will go when it comes to Ad Verification participants.

Of course, this program is entirely voluntary. No user has to take part for any reason. But even with the choice of opting in, people are still speculating whether user data will be correctly handled. Amazon also hasn’t disclosed how it chooses candidates for this invite-only scheme. While one can apply via the smartphone app, the selection process remains a mystery.

Time Will Tell How Amazon Uses Customer Data in This New Program

While it seems that Amazon simply wants to better understand how customers and ads interact, many are suspicious of the Ad Verification program’s core intentions, specifically how user data will be handled. Is giving Amazon this new level of access to your traffic really worth the reward? It’s currently early days for this scheme, so only time will tell whether customers should be concerned.

Security,Amazon,Online Privacy,Big Data,Data Security,Data Harvesting

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