You may have thought your vote was priceless, but it’s actually worth about $22 on average.
The more the Obama and Romney campaigns know about you through online tracking and data collection, the more they’ll spend to influence your vote through targeted ads. Our calculator estimates your dollar value, which ranges from a low of $5 to a high of $50.
Higher values are all about influence: you’re worth more to the campaigns if you have a lot of influence in your social circles and if they think you can be influenced to switch your vote. For example, women are worth a bit more in our calculator model because they have polled as more undecided then men and they often have greater influence in a household and among children of voting age. The same goes for people with a lot of Facebook friends: it’s a bigger audience for you to influence with those political status updates. Spending tends to increase towards the very end of the election race when close contests emerge.
The calculator uses your answers to seven questions and data from the campaigns’ finance reports, the 2010 U.S. Census, and our proprietary data about online tracking to estimate your actual value to the campaigns based on the characteristics online tracking can unearth – your demographics, voting history, online activity, and more.
The most important privacy concern here isn’t the political display ads you’re seeing, but the massive amount of data collection that powers them: the campaigns are scraping your Facebook activity, your browsing history, and your online purchases and combining them with offline public records, like your voting history and religious views, to get a complete picture of who you are. And when one side loses and is deep in debt, nothing’s stopping them from selling this personal information to advertisers and other third parties.
Use a tool like our free DoNotTrackPlus to block online tracking and keep the campaigns guessing about your vote right until you hit the polls. And in addition to controlling who sees what you’re doing online, DoNotTrackPlus stops annoying pop up ads and other targeted advertising and loads some websites up to 4 times faster.
Cast your vote for online privacy with DoNotTrackPlus, and get out to the polls on November 6th!