Google planning opt-in Mobile Meter to offer rewards for sharing usage data

Google planning opt-in Mobile Meter to offer rewards for sharing usage data
Despite the message that you may take away from a "Scroogled" ad from Microsoft, Google doesn't gather your data purely for profit. It is also gathered in order to build new services that will benefit you. On one hand, Google will gather your data in order to target ads more effectively and earn more money from those ads, but on the other side you get services like Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Drive, and Google Now without having to pay.

We hesitate to call the services "free", because you are trading something for them, but at least there is an exchange happening. The newest rumor says that Google is looking to set up another exchange on mobile devices. Apparently, Google is looking into setting up an opt-in program on Android and iOS, which could earn you some rewards. The program is called Mobile Meter, and it would use an app to gather data on your web browsing habits and app usage on your mobile device. 

The data would be sent back to Google, and Google would presumably use that data to improve its numerous mobile apps, web offerings, and mobile ads. Google hasn't commented on the rumor, and there is no word on exactly what kind of data would be gathered or what the rewards would be, but it is clear that none of this would happen without consent. Users would be required to opt-in to Mobile Meter. 

source: Engadget



1. Santi_Santi unregistered

I'm in

2. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Sounds fair. I like that you opt in, instead of opting out. Depending on what the rewards are I'll sign up.

3. datsyuk

Posts: 180; Member since: Jan 11, 2012

If google wants to see how many times I browse Phone Arena and a few forums for some sweet rewards (let's see what they are) I'm in too

4. md227a

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Make it no video ads for YouTube and I'm in.

5. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Cool, let's go Google.

6. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Yes Michael, those are free services. But that doesn't excuse google for having so much data on you. They probably know more about you than yourself. That info is what Google makes money off of and it's not really fair in my opinion.

7. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

Nothing in life is free.

8. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

As I've said before, Google only has info on you that you give them. If you don't use a Google account, or Google services, all Google has is that someone in your geographical area visits certain pages. Fair is giving you a choice in the matter (as Google does), and fair is giving you value in return for your contribution (which Google does).

11. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It's near impossible not to use google. They're practically a monopoly. You really don't have a choice. Doesn't help that golf keeps trying to force you to use G+.

28. techguyone

Posts: 214; Member since: May 18, 2013

PLEASE don't use google, also don't use IOS OR WP, then we'll never have to hear your misinformed, mxytroll comments again, hell I'd subscribe to all of google's services if that could be a guaranteed reality. Just so I don't have to hear any more. From.You.

12. Mxyzptlk unregistered

There's a ton of websites and articles out there regarding google being too massive. Do you really want a company that can spy on you with almost 100% accuracy to have that much power?

16. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

It's not spying if you're giving the data willingly. Also, it is 100% possible to not use Google. Use Bing for search and Maps, or DuckDuckGo for search. Use Hotmail, Yahoo, or set up your own email (not that hard). Use Office or Zoho for productivity. Facebook and Twitter for social. Vimeo for video. Flickr for photos. Babelfish or Bing for translation. Wordpress for blogging. Firefox or Opera as your browser. iOS or Windows Phone for mobile. Groupon or LivingSocial for deals. Etc. etc. etc. That's the beauty of the Internet. There is always choice.

23. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Are you seriously considering trowing time away on this guy? I mean with all his history and all....

27. ScottSchneider

Posts: 336; Member since: Dec 06, 2011

You hit him right on his nuts... wack... its out of the park...

26. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So you honestly believe that you can't get by without using Google's services? There are literally tons of alternatives, some are big name, some are no name. Now if you're arguing that none of those alternatives are as polished or useful as Google's, well how do you think they got that way. All companies rely on feedback to improve and maintain there products and services. Many will send out questionnaires or do phone surveys, but no one wants to deal with them, so what's the alternative? The big difference here is that you are not automatically enrolled as was the case with something similar Verizon tried awhile back. Here you have to opt in to be part of this, and in return you get a reward (something Verizon didn't offer). What are the rewards and will they be worth anything to anyone? Who knows? At this point it's a rumor, and the final iteration could be completely different than what we're reading about here. But as long as you have to choose to be involved and the info remains anonymous, I can't see where this would hurt anyone.

13. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

You forget that Google has been fined and sued multiple times for gathering data from users who weren't using their services, such as the Street View "war driving" escapade and bypassing the default security settings on Safari and Internet Explorer, to name two examples. Where was the reciprocity in those transactions?

17. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

I've written about the Street View thing before. That was absolute B.S. Google got in trouble because people didn't bother to secure their WiFi at all. That's like arresting someone for stealing because they took something that I was throwing onto the sidewalk.

14. jellmoo

Posts: 2627; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Very true. That being said though, there is a certain expectation of being able to completely use a device you purchase without giving away quite so much of your identity. Google has baked in so many services and tools into their Android handsets and tablets, and their Chromebooks that you simply cannot escape their use if you purchase one. I'm not saying that Google is in the wrong, but I do think that consumers are being double dipped, as it were.

18. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Your personal data is very different from your identity. You give Google your personal data, but they are not authorized to use anything or sell anything that can be used to identify who you are.

20. jellmoo

Posts: 2627; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Perhaps "identity" was a poor word choice, but the point does remain. You are already purchasing a product, and in order to use it, you need to provide that information to Google. This information is then used to target ads to you. I freely admit that by and large, for most users this is not a big deal. But it is worthy of note that because of this practice you are being targeted after you've already bought it.

24. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Your argument would have a valid point, but its a well known practice, for maintaining of a product line (look at the prices on nexus devices chrome books etc) many companies already use those techniques to help cover for many other things the user won't notice but that involve money. One example not involving Google could be the Xbox one witch has had the flames because MS keeps hiding the Truth about kinect and advertisement, aplle? They also have their advertisement service and gather user data despite their premium prices At least Google is trying to be as honest as possible in terms. Now about sharing data, you can always opt out of your info when you buy their products. Many of those devices will work fine with little to no info from you. Now Google always offers trades, the more info you provide the better and more accurate services become. So let's get this straight 1. All companies are taking your information and using it to target you with ads and other materials, and if they say no they are probably lying (your phone company, your cable company, your bank) 2. Despite having paid options, companies still collect the data you provide them (ie Skype conversations or imessages) 3. Some companies are more honest than other on that matter.

9. zennacko unregistered

What about Youtube video store or paid subscriptions? Nothing is 100% free, except for adblock, the dev is our hero and he deserves some donations too, he saved many of us from the pain of visual pollution caused by flash-based ads, "hot word" ads (the ones embedded on some words of what you're reading) and many others. Google on the other hand is trying to push more and more ads, especially on youtube, and these greedy channels... But then, copyright laws are too silly, video gameplays can be taken down because they "belong to the publisher" -- they don't! If we buy something, it is ours to use. And show the world as well. What's next? augmented vision with "HDCP" to ensure you'll never see whatever is copyrighted and you don't own?

10. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Adblock is the worst. People aren't creating content on the Internet just to make you happy. People are trying to make a living off of entertaining you or serving you news or other interesting content. The only thing asked of you is to put up with a few ads. No one is entitled to free content, but that's what you are claiming by using adblockers.

15. jellmoo

Posts: 2627; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I agree to an extent. Any site or service that you use regularly and is ad based deserves to be given the benefit of having ad block turned off. The flip side however, is that the site has an obligation to ensure that any ads present are not overly invasive, and more importantly malware free. The fact that ad-block can be seen as a security measure is indicative that many sites do not perform due diligence in regards to their ads.

19. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

True, sites should make sure that ads aren't invasive, but at the same time, anyone using an adblocker is taking away revenue, which will lead the sites to put up even more ads and more invasive ads in order to get as much as possible from those who visit the site without an adblocker running. Personally, I've found it best to not use an adblocker, but still choose to not go to sites with ads that are too invasive. That gives back to the content creators, but doesn't reward sites that use bad ads.

21. jellmoo

Posts: 2627; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I find myself forced to take the opposite approach. I surf with ad-block on, and disable it for trusted sites. So the sites I visit regularly will benefit from my visits, but I won't be subject to terribly invasive ads or even potential malware from new sites I may visit.

22. zennacko unregistered

Invasive and/or flash/gif ads are what made me use adblock in 1st place, I don't like reading while something is moving repeatedly on my screen, it's just annoying. As for the google/text ads which aren't that annoying, I've blocked them because sometimes the creator puts them in strategic places (like the middle of whatever you're reading/looking at) and... tbh I don't think sites would make a profit from me looking and ignoring every single ad I allow, they earn with clicks, right? I know it's all about the money and many (if not all) sites make a living out of advertising, but one of the big reasons I use adblock is for safety, as no ad company will track me (I think not), and everyone can click safely anywhere, there won't be phishing, suspicious toolbars or "powerful" anti-virus software to install and I won't have to re-format my PC every 3 months because of a silly click. I'm not voting to ban ads of the internet, I just think there should be less ads for a better viewing/reading experience

25. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Well, the alternative is no more free services. I agree that some ads can be obnoxious, but as long as they're not malware or hijacks, it's a necessary evil to have free content. I wish it weren't the case but it's reality.

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