PermissionResearch Review: a Free $20 Gift Card?

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Founded back in 1936, well before the internet, PermissionResearch has slowly become one of the world’s largest market research companies.   While the website doesn’t look up to date, the company is, indeed, legit, and will pay you in exchange for your internet surfing habits.  They created an online division to figure out how we use the internet as well as the most up-to-date trends.  This information is then used to help companies make better business decisions for the future.

Today, the company is owned by Comscore, which is a very reputable company based in Boston, MA.

In today’s review, I wanted to talk about PermissionResearch and see if it’s worth our time.  As in all of my reviews, I like to sign up, play around with it for a while and then report back with my findings.  I’m always 100% honest, only recommending what I feel is worth your time.

How to Sign up for PermissionResearch

If you want to become a member of PermissionResearch, they do ask you to download a piece of software, which can be a major bummer to most, including me.  As you can see in the screenshot below, they will give you a $20 Visa gift card if you download the software and keep it active for seven days.

If you’re comfortable with downloading software and letting it run on your computer whenever you use it, then it may be something to consider.  To be considered, you will have to complete your member profile, which will include your personal information as well as basic demographics.  This process takes maybe 10 minutes at most, and it will be sent to their staff, where they will either approve or deny your account.

You need to be at least 18 years old and control the computer you’re downloading the software on.

Downloading the Software

If you download the software, you’re probably wondering what it’s used for.

Well, this isn’t all too uncommon in the research market as some companies, such as SavvyConnect, do the same thing.  These companies will use your internet surfing habit data to share with companies who want to buy it.  These companies will then use this data to help their products and/or services, etc.  This is why they want to know about your demographics because most companies are looking for particular people.

Permission Research gets paid by companies for this data so that they can better understand trends and behavior.

Is it safe?

While the company is legit, the safety is questionable.  If I’m downloading a third-party piece of software and they are tracking me, I think you can be the judge as to whether or not it’s safe.  Since I don’t know much about this company, I’m not going to take my chances, even though they will give me $20 for free in the first seven days.  While this is lucrative and appealing, you have to sit back and ask why they are giving out so much money.  Remember, your personal data is worth a lot of money!

The software does run silently in the background, but I read a lot of negative reports as to what the software actually tracks.

Some people said it slows down your computer whereas a lot of people stated their anti-virus software found it to be malicious.

Also, for example, the privacy policy is very vague in what is monitored and doesn’t go into specifics.  If I were to install software of any sorts, wouldn’t you want to know what’s being tracked?

While it seems the company has valid privacy concerns, I would be more concerned about hackers getting a hold of this information.


So, what do you get aside from a $20 after using the software for seven days?

Not much.

The company notes that you can increase your eligibility for surveys, which can lead to “prizes.”   Even so, the survey invites seem to be few and thin.  If you do receive an invite, it will be as an email or it may pop up on your dashboard when you log in.

So, yes, you read that right, they don’t even pay you 99% of the time.  Rather, you can attempt to win prizes in exchange for your feedback.  I don’t think that’s a deal.

Final Thoughts

0/10In the end, PermissionResearch is a big NO.  If I were to use this, I would honestly put the software on a laptop that I barely use just for the $20.  Maybe use it daily for a few minutes here or there for a week and then factory reset your computer. That way, you know the software is gone.  If you don’t want to do that, then I would NOT recommend downloading this software.

The company doesn’t pay rewards and there’s nothing in it for you. Oh, you can win a raffle?  Have fun with that one.  At least other companies will pay you a few dollars a month if you use their software.  And, even in that case, I thought it was bad.

In the end, skip out on it.  The software isn’t worth it and it’s not doing much for you.  In fact, it’s doing nothing but making these research firms richer.

That’s going to do it for now.

As always, if you want to comment on your experience, you’re more than welcome to sound off in the comments below.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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