The Shonky Award for putting the tool in toolbar goes to QANTAS

The Qantas Frequent Flyer program offers customers the option to download and use a special toolbar for internet searches, earning them one point per valid search - to a maximum of 150 points per month.

ONLINE_Shonkys_2013_microsite_FILLER_QANTAS-toolbar_500px 

In return, Qantas will monitor your searches and send you targeted and relevant marketing material for products, services and offers they think might interest you. Search for “Gold Coast accommodation” and you’ll be sent ads for Gold Coast hotels; search for “apple pie recipe” and you’ll get ads for New York hotels; and search for “cheap flights” and you’ll get ads for… kites.

So, just to be clear, you let Qantas spy on your web searches and you get one point per search. And after almost eight years you’ll have enough points for a one-way ticket between Sydney and Melbourne. Meanwhile, courtesy of your Frequent Flyer membership, they know who you are, where you live and what you’re into. While you can turn the toolbar off for more - ahem - sensitive searches, we still think it’s a little bit creepy for not much reward.