Google will swap you a box of crisps for your web privacy
Or anything else from Amazon for $25 if you agree to be stalked
Google has revealed exactly how little cash it thinks a user who is willing to "sell" their data to the search giant is actually worth.
The answer? $25 for one year of letting the Chocolate Factory happily slurp your data. And that figure isn't even in the form of cold, hard cash. Nope. Amazon gift vouchers are on offer to those exposing their online selves to Google (2011 revenue: $38 billion).
Here's how Google pitched the project to anyone interested in signing up:
Google is building a new panel to learn more about how everyday people use the internet.
The new project is called Screenwise. As a panelist, you'll add a browser extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them. What we learn from you, and others like you, will help us improve Google products and services and make a better online experience for everyone.
And apparently plenty of people have been queuing up to partake.
The company quietly began its so-called Screenwise project on Tuesday. By yesterday the blogosphere was noisily jabbering on about Google's latest data collection plan. Today, the ad broker says it's simply "overwhelmed" by all the fuss.
Google said in an update to the original post:
We appreciate and are overwhelmed by your interest at the moment. Please come back later for more details.
At some point down the line Google said it might begin paying more vouchers to people who agree to stay beyond the initial 12 months of letting the company track their every move online.
For those who sign away their privacy rights to Google, that $25 (£15) gift voucher, er, bounty could go towards anything from gadgets and boxes of crisps to, as noted by Forbes, a six-pack of marshmallow fluff. Yup. Sticky and way too spreadable. ®
Here - put on this slave collar and I'll give you a buck
This seems to be the pattern - people willing to sell themselves for trinkets:
Here's a loyalty card - we won't overcharge you 10% when you shop in return for being able to track every purchase you make, the better to market at you.
Here's a GPS tracker for your car - we might give you a break on your insurance in exchange for knowing every place you go and every move you make behind the wheel.
Here's a box to monitor your TV viewing - we will give you a few bucks in exchange for having detailed knowledge of what you watch, when you watch, and how you watch.
Here's "free" Internet, so long as we can ram ads down your throat and watch where you surf.
$25 to sell out any vestige of self-respect and privacy you might have had.
And its before tax too...remember to declare that. Actually you won't need to remember - google will probably remind when your taxes are due, and what you bill is. Oh and btw, heres a list of accountants we can recommend based on your location, tax status and recent returns...
But the prostitutes are cleaner.