Companies willing to pay, but only if you let them track your browsing habits

Posted at 4:22 PM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 23:55:23-04

Companies will pay you to track your browsing history, just ask Pete Amend. He installed an app that runs in the background on his phone, laptop and tablet and collects info about the sites Pete visits.

He gets $5 per device, adding up to $15 dollars per month.  “It is great having the extra money for just letting an app run, you know, checking my browsing history,” said Amend. 

We found a number of apps that track what you surf. Some allow you to enter for prizes or some will give you cash, like the one that Pete uses, SavvyConnect. 

“We turn it into things that our clients can actually analyze such as the actual apps used, the websites visited, the videos watched,” said Sean Miller, VP of Online Operations at Luth Research, which makes the SavvyConnect App.

The apps we talked to say info they collect helps companies identify trends, improve their products and even helps to spark new ideas. All the apps developers we talked to say that users’ data is guarded by top notch security systems, and that users remain anonymous. 

“The data is delivered to our clients tied to a unique member id, not the actual individual. So, our clients will know that a male aged 35 in Ohio used the YouTube app, but they don’t necessarily know who the person is,” said Miller. 

Thomas Fischer, global security advocate at Digital Guardian, says make sure you read an app’s terms of service and privacy policies before you trade your info for cash.  And find out: “What data are you collecting? What are you going to do with the data? Who are you giving the data to? Who uses it or who are you selling it to?” 

Pete says he feels comfortable using the app and says, “It’s an enjoyable way to make money and I’m glad I’m helping their research.”

Some companies also pay people extra money, from $15 to $75 for answering surveys, participating in studies and watching ads. 

For more information:

SavvyConnect app: 

Smart Panel app: