(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
A new add-on for Firefox and Chrome calculates exactly how much companies like Google and Facebook are making from your data.
"If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold," Andrew Lewis declared in 2010. But haven't you ever wondered how much you're worth to free services like Gmail and Facebook?
Privacyfix, a new add-on by PrivacyChoice for Firefox and Chrome browsers, can tell you. It scans your account and browsing data, to estimate the amount that Facebook and Google make from your data ( which they sell to advertisers), and tells you where Facebook and Google are tracking your web activity.
It also checks websites you have visited for privacy issues.
Perhaps more importantly than telling you your dollar worth to Facebook and Google — which are only guesses, after all — Privacyfix issues solutions for potential privacy leaks in your profiles with those companies. Facebook, for example, indexes your profile on Google by dafualt, and allows your friends to share your profile with their apps. Links to the relevant settings pages are provided, so you can apply the fix yourself.
The Privacyfix FAQ states:
We're sensitive to the need of Facebook and Google to manage their privacy frameworks, and for them to ensure that decisions are being made directly by users. We also believe that it's worth your time to consider each setting, and any trade-offs between privacy and functionality. We will focus your attention on the most private settings, but ultimately, it's up to you to choose the settings that work best for you.
According to Ars Technica, the add-on plans to add functionality for Twitter and LinkedIn.
Of course, Privacyfix is also free — but promises never to store or share your data. Make of that what you will.