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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

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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. ®

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