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Information You Share With Google Is Worth Up To $5,000

Sites include . Published on February 7th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

It has been common knowledge for years that most users of ‘free’ platforms on the internet do so at a price. That price in cold hard terms has always been defined in terms of a user’s worth to advertisers and marketers. Different platforms have different measuring instruments and indeed unique valuation systems but Google is one of the few that has much open system of ascertaining value. Google’s new unified privacy policy for instance can now show marketers exactly how Google perceives a user and precisely how much their personal data is worth to third-parties.

Privacy firm recently crunched the numbers and revealed that data collected by Google on a typical user is worth anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 for marketers and advertisers. This inherently high value is due in large part to the demographic that typically uses Google products. Most are college educated and browse their mails either on a iPhone, iPad, or an iMac. In other words, people who use Google are usually loaded, and this of course, makes them advertising targets.

This wholesale harvesting of personal data and the subsequent valuation and sale is a big concern for privacy advocates—especially for social networks. Said Jules Polonetsky, director of the Future of Privacy Forum, “Their entire market cap is related to how much data is being collected and used.”

Do you think Google and others should be banned from selling personal information? Share your thoughts below.

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