January 26, 2012
It’s pretty much common knowledge these days that if you don’t pay for a service, it means you’re the product. Google, for example, tracks everything you do with its services and aggregates it. They promise not to sell that information to anyone, but there is nothing to stop them from swapping or sharing.
Now someone has put a price on the products that we have become — and apparently we’re worth between $50 and $5,000 each per year to advertisers and market researchers. It depends on how much data Google can get out of you.
The more I think about, the more I think Google should be paying us to use its services. And if they don’t see the benefit to that, maybe some smart competitor will. But they should be upfront about it — no gimmicks.
Would some people try to game the system to make more money? Possibly. But Google already has a system in place to discourage that from happening with its Adsense program. So there is a way around it.
I don’t think I’m just dreaming with this idea. The economy of the future will be built on authenticity and trust, because it’s one of the few edges left in an increasingly competitive economy.