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

October 10, 2012
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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!

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