Amazon offering shoppers $10 to track websites they visit

Amazon offering shoppers $10 to track websites they visit
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Amazon is offering customers $10 if they install a browser tool that allows the online retail giant to track their internet activity. 

To get the money, users need to install the Amazon Assistant comparison-shopping tool, which gives the prices of Amazon products when they come across the same product on another site, an Amazon spokesperson told The Hill in a statement Tuesday, confirming an earlier Reuters report.

The $10 offer is a promotion for Prime Day, a two-day Amazon promotion featuring special deals that ends Tuesday night.

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Users will receive $10 off an order of at least $50 if they install the tool on or before Prime Day, the spokesperson said. 

Amazon Assistant has more than 7 million users on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, Reuters reported. 

“This data is often used for training machine learning models to do better ad targeting,” Electronic Frontier Foundation technologist Bennett Cyphers told Reuters. “But in the U.S., there aren’t really restrictions on what you can do with this kind of data."

Reuters reported that new customers only receive the $10 if they install the assistant from a particular webpage, have Amazon Prime and make a purchase through the assistant by Aug. 2. 

 

 

The Amazon spokesperson said that the company only collects information from websites customers view "where we may have relevant product or service recommendations," adding that it does not connect the information to their Amazon account except when they interact with the assistant tool. 

"Customer trust is paramount to Amazon and we take customer privacy very seriously," the spokesperson said.  "The use of Amazon Assistant will always comply with our Privacy Policy and About Amazon Assistant Privacy notice."

The offer comes as tech companies' use of customer data faces scrutiny.

For example, Republican Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyIs there internet life after thirty? Republicans face critical test of integrity on drug price controls Hillicon Valley: Facebook releases audit on bias claims | Audit fails to calm critics | Federal agencies hit with fewer cyberattacks in 2018 | Huawei founder says company faces 'live or die' moment MORE (Mo.) announced in May that he would introduce a bill to create a "Do Not Track" database that people can join if they don't want companies to gather their data beyond what is "necessary" for operation.  

-- Updated at 3:37 p.m.