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 register, and what are the concerns surrounding it?
What is the Amazon Ad Verification Program?
Amazon’s new ad verification program is a voluntary scheme that customers can participate in for a small monthly payment, according to a inner item. Participants will need to give Amazon the ability to track when and where specific ads are shown when they use the platform. This will include ads produced by Amazon as well as third-party ads from other vendors through Amazon Ads.
It appears that Amazon’s ad verification program falls under the umbrella of the company’s Buyer Dashboard, a scheme that pays users in exchange for uploading receipts for purchases made outside of Amazon.
Amazon stated in a Buyer Panel Web Page that users can “upload 10 eligible receipts per month by using the Amazon Shopper Panel app to take photos of paper receipts or by forwarding receipts via email to [email protected] [and then] earn $10 towards an Amazon balance or a charitable donation.” It is also claimed that customers can earn rewards by completing surveys.
But Amazon’s ad verification program will take things one 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.
Participate in the Amazon Ad Verification Program
At the moment, Amazon’s Ad Verification program is invite-only, which means 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.
Amazon is also only allowing a limited number of users to join the program at the time of writing. In the app, you can check if space is available and join the waiting list to be notified when a space becomes available. The Shopper Panel app can also be used for other reward activities such as uploading receipts and answering survey questions.
In the app, there is a toggle bar that allows you to turn the app verification feature on or off. Therefore, if you have been selected as part of the ad verification program, you can opt out at any time.
Concerns Surrounding the Scheme
Amazon’s ad verification program may sound great to some, but concerns have been raised about how it will affect customer privacy. Criticism over Amazon’s use of customer data is nothing new, as products and services like the Alexa smart speaker have sparked controversy with reports that Amazon retains Alexa voice recordings unless the user I delete them.
In Amazon Privacy Noticeit 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 you [users].” This is the case only for general Amazon customers, and it is unknown how much more data will be collected when it comes to Ad Verification participants.
Of course, this program is completely voluntary. No user has to participate for any reason. But even with the opt-in option, people still speculate whether user data will be handled correctly. Amazon has also not disclosed how it selects candidates for this invite-only scheme. While you 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 Amazon simply wants to better understand how customers and ads interact, many are suspicious of the ad verification program’s primary intentions, specifically how user data will be handled. Is it really worth giving Amazon this new level of access to your traffic? It’s currently early days for this scheme, so only time will tell if customers need to worry.