Amazon Prime Day is here. However, apart from the surging discounts that you get, Amazon has something else to give as well. The ecommerce giant is offering $10 off on shopping of $50 or more to the users who install Amazon Assistant extension. This offer is valid in the US only. But there’s a catch. You have to let the Assistant, access your web activity and browsing data.

Amazon Assistant lets users “discover Amazon products and compare prices as you shop across the web.” It shows Amazon prices for products on Walmart, Target and other such sites. You can compare prices, ratings, and features of different products. It also lets you track orders and view your shopping history.

The browser extension has access to your web activity and can view the pages and links you visit. Based on the pages you visit online, it suggests products that you may find interesting. As it is a free app, it monetizes using user data by targeting product ads (in this case, Amazon offers products on its platform).

The ability to access user data gives Amazon an upper hand against its rivals. At the same time, goes on to show the desperation to get user data (considering the $10 payout that you get for selling your data). In return, it can give users personalized recommendations and suggest what you maybe looking for.

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

Through offering a $10 credit to first-time users of Amazon Assistant, the company seeks to attract more users to install their browser add-on. This way the company can send tailored product recommendations to the customers, and get access to large chunks of personalised data.

“Customer trust is paramount to Amazon, and we take customer privacy very seriously where we may have relevant product or service recommendations,” an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters remarking the privacy policy of the Assistant. Even though Amazon assures customers there is no threat to their data, the company doesn’t reveal how it utilizes the data that it collects through its Assistant add-on. And assurances can go only as far (looking at the amount of data that has been leaked this year alone).

Amazon Prime Day 2019, which began on Monday is just the right opportunity to attract new customers to its platform. Amazon seeks to exploit this to their advantage by offering credit to users that install their app. Nonetheless, it is not mandatory for new customers to install the application.

The offer is valid only for new Prime members and if they purchase before August 2 via Amazon Assistant.

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