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Want to get paid for your mobile usage statistics?

Authored by: Kris Carlon — Oct 15, 2013

If you're anything like me you've complained about Google and Facebook and every other internet bogeyman making too much money off your internet profile and mobile usage data. While I fully respect the ''free'' services these companies provide, I sometimes feel like the value I get out of them is far below the dollar value they're making off my information. I've often said that I would have no problem with it, if I got a check in the mail once a month. Well, it looks like that moment may not be far away, if Google has its way.

Google logo1
Are you willing to let Google see even more of what you do on your smartphone? / © AndroidPIT / Google

Google has confirmed they are developing a new ''Mobile Meter'' data collection service for those out there who don't care what Google knows and just want to be rewarded for it. It'll be an opt-in service to analyse your app usage, web habits and so on, so there won't be any default actions you need to frantically undo if this scares the hell out of you. While the common response to my complaints is to get off Facebook and Google, I'm obviously happy enough using the services and grumbling about them – like saying I'll never drink again when I get a hangover. But this adds a whole new dimension to what you're willing to give away, precisely because you won't be giving it away anymore.

1984 big brother
It's not oppression if you volunteer for it. / © ExtremeTech

The big question is: what will you get for providing Google with unfettered access to your mobile usage information? I have no idea. That part of the plan hasn't been revealed yet, but one would assume it would be tied in to Play Store credit or the like, in order to keep you using your rewards to better reward Google. This is either an excellent way for users to get something back from Google or a shady enticement deal akin to selling your soul to the devil. The plan will surely attract the young, mobile-savvy and poorly-funded of us out there but may also produce something akin to data prostitution. It's one thing to have Google collect your data, it's quite another to sell it to them. Now that I think about it, I don't think a check in the mail is enough to make me ok with this.

What do you think about this new plan? Would you be willing to let Google see everything you do in return for ''rewards''?

Via: Android Police Source: Engadget

Kris Carlon comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

21 comments

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  • Jack Bell Oct 18, 2013 Link to comment

    I fully agree, we should definitely be getting our fair share.

  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    ok too bad that I gent get sth there, would have been nice...

  • Kris Carlon
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    Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    Thanks for the info @Kevin. Let us know how you go @Philipp.

  • KevinE Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    Google doesn't actually do the recruiting for Screenwise or haven't yet as far as I know. The program is facilitated by a market research company called GFK (gfk.com). I'm not sure how this new program will work or how it will be facilitated.

    You can go to https://kpscreenwise.gfk.com/enroll/Index.aspx and see the "Recruitment for the Screenwise Panel is currently closed" message.

    There is also a log in page at screenwisepanel.com

  • Kris Carlon
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    Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    Hey Philipp, no idea who it is open to, but you can check an article from when the Screenwise program was rolled out here: http://goo.gl/9Auh5W (unfortunately the original Google link doesn't work anymore so I couldn't find any more info on applicability. Perhaps Kevin knows more about who can participate?)

  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    but HOW can you get in screenwise and is it available for Germans???

  • Kris Carlon
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    Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    Thanks for the links @Kevin. It basically boils down to two points I think: 1) Google are already collecting information without paying users, which they are going to keep doing anyway, and 2) If this doesn't bother you and you want to participate and make some extra bucks then you can enroll in the Screenwise Panel program and get paid. But my understanding is that Mobile Meter will dig in waaay deeper (app usage etc). Good to get feedback on your experience though.

  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    @KevinE how to get in there. is it possible for a German citizen???

  • Amy R. Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    I don't know, this is not for me. I spent to much time, money, and headaches to make my system so Google could no longer probe it. They already admitted it to me in the past and I didn't get paid for that. It only made my device eat data ten fold and buggered up my entire system................I won't let the devil back in

  • KevinE Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    It comes out to more than that with the extra activities. That is if you choose to do them. Maybe this new news means they are going to expand the program and maybe the earnings too? Probably not but it would be nice.

  • Amy R. Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    @KevinE, read those articles.

    It may be a matter of personal taste, but $20 a month is not worth having a Google monkey on my back :)

    I'll just stick with using DuckDuckGo (who cares about your privacy and bettering their search engine) and alternative Android Markets.

  • KevinE Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    I don't mind your comments Amy R, I probably need to hear it now and then.

  • Amy R. Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    @KevinE,

    Don't get me wrong, I understand what you're saying. I've participated in simular paid groups in the past because it involved them to better their bussiness and user friendliness. I give better imput when I'm paid for it too ;)

    But this particular thing doesn't appear as an outlet to make Google better in the long run. It only appears to be an excuse to have them track you more closely regarding app usage and internet habbits, that's all..........

  • KevinE Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    This isn't brand new, it's Google’s Screenwise Panel. I am currently participating in this panel and have been for the last year or so. They also have browser extensions and Windows desktop software that let's panelists earn more. Due to the Google NDA (non-disclosure agreement) I won't say much more but will say it isn't Google Play credits or monopoly money.

    Here are a few articles from Feb 8, 2012. The pay scale is pretty accurate but like I said there are ways to earn more.
    TechCrunch - http://goo.gl/oODNNi
    Engadget - http://goo.gl/PbxlTH

    I have also participated, for pay, in 3 or 4 focus groups from Microsoft on upcoming Bing features. You won't get rich doing it and the pay helps them get a more focused consensus. I'm going to give better feedback for pay then I would for free. It's also kind of cool to see the pre-releases and have some input.

  • Amy R. Oct 17, 2013 Link to comment

    There's a reason why I'm an Android owner who won't utilize Google Services period. This doesn't change anything and only makes me more suspicious when it involves bad bussiness.................

  • Owen Lednor Oct 16, 2013 Link to comment

    Agree @ Miss Kate & Philipp Junghann
    I wouldn't care about it, theoretically they can access my data anyway... It would be a bonus to be paid for it.

  • Owen Lednor Oct 16, 2013 Link to comment

    Agree @ Miss Kate & Philipp Junghann
    I wouldn't care about it, theoretically they can access my data anyway... It would be a bonus to be paid for it.

  • Miss Kat Oct 16, 2013 Link to comment

    well they already have the rights to our usage on their sites so to get paid even if in play store credits I'm fine with that. I'm a pretty boring person anyway

  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Oct 15, 2013 Link to comment

    when we already give enough data to google and co why not get money for that? nice option...

  • kader Oct 15, 2013 Link to comment

    +1 for Amy R

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