Have you ever wondered how much you are worth to Facebook or Google?

by: Joe HindyOctober 10, 2012

It is no secret that we all enjoy the freedoms of the internet thanks to advertisements. We search things on Google, play games on Facebook, Tweet various things, and +1 everything. That means we are always looking at ads. Companies pay websites to host their ads, people like us view them, and websites like Facebook and Google continue to be free services to us. The question is, how much money do you generate for these websites?

This is a question that a new plugin for Firefox and Chrome are looking to answer. It is called Privacyfix. Among its other features, it’ll estimate how much money you earn for Google and Facebook. This can be pretty cool if you want to see what you’re worth. Some people may be surprised.

Privacyfix works by measuring your last 60 days of activity and, based on that, extrapolates a value. For now, it can only look at your Facebook and Google accounts, but there are plans to include support for LinkedIn and Twitter as well.

Okay so Facebook and Google make money off of ads, so what?

There is more to it than that. Have you ever noticed how many advertisements are based on things you like and search for? That’s not accidental, that is intentional. Facebook and Google sell out your data to advertisers so that they know what to advertise to you. Many have known this for a long time and don’t mind. Others, however, may mind quite a bit.

According to Ars Technica, it isn’t free web browsing, but an exchange. You give out your data, the websites you enjoy for free sell it to advertisers, and you continue to search the web for free. If you read the privacy policy statements on these websites, they pretty much tell you this information. But seriously, who wants to read through all of that?

Using Privacyfix, you can help make yourself less prone to your data being sold. It will tell you about old Facebook applications that you need to de-authorize and settings that you can fix to help keep yourself more private. Even if you aren’t all that concerned about privacy, it could be fun to see what settings could be fixed and what apps you have forgotten about.

For fun, I have downloaded and installed Privacyfix. According to the app, Facebook makes $2.97 a year off of my browsing. Not very much, but I don’t use Facebook very often anymore. Google, on the other hand, makes a whopping $1408.39 a year off of me. For those who have tried it, how much are you worth to the internet? Let us know!

  • MasterMuffin

    And when you watch those videos that you shouldn’t be watching (if you know what I mean, I’m sure you do) and the website has for example google ads, BOOM google will offer you some weird sht :D

  • 3.74 on Facebook, and 1735.75 on Google. As for -those- videos, or whatever else, there’s Ctrl+Shift+N. I don’t mind Google tracking me, i found some nice stuff through their personalized ads.

    • Joseph Hindy

      My thoughts on the matter are similar. I couldn’t care less about what Google does with my info. Maybe 10 years ago before I was an internet junkie, I’d probably have taken steps…but it’s way too late to do anything about it now.

      Now, I just visit sites and do my part to help with ad revenue…it fuels the interwebs!

      • Yup. I was surprised to see some 2006. searches, from when i opened my gmail (they save it ALL), but i don’t mind, like you said, our activity is the fuel. :)

  • Brian Sayatovic

    I think there’s a typo. Is Twitter covered now, or in the future? “For now, it can only look at your Facebook and Twitter accounts, but there are plans to include support for LinkedIn and Twitter as well.”

    • Evan Wickes

      Haha. Nice catch. I glossed over it. At the bottom, they mention FB & Google amount$, so I guess Twitter is coming later.

  • aholsteinson

    “Google sell out your data to advertisers so that they know what to advertise to you.”

    This is a common misconception. Google does not sells out your data to advertisers, as in, they do not hand over to them your personal info or anything like that. Rather, they give the advertisers a public of X number of users that search for something in particular or have some particular words in their emails and the advertisers can show their ads to these users. Google would be insane to sell your data to the advertisers, it would be like shooting themselves in the foot.

    As far as the article goes, I know what Google does and It doesn’t bothers me one bit. I love Google and their product/services and use them everyday and I have yet to have a single issue.

    • Agreed, they don’t sell our info and data, just position certain ads for certain users, using our email and searches for better positioning. Advertisers don’t send ads directly, Google sends them to us. If they didn’t do that, none of awesome Google services i use daily would be free.

  • DP

    Even this page has 7 ads, so whats the big deal?