Invisibly pays you to share your personal information with marketers
Expected pay: pay is made via free content in newspapers and periodicals
Commissions & fees: 50%
Requirements: Over age 16; have Google Chrome browser on a laptop or desktop computer
What is Invisibly?
Invisibly is a data collection company that wants to compensate you for sharing your personal information with marketers. At present, it offers a swap. You allow them to snoop on your purchases and browsing history and they’ll give you access to content that might otherwise cost you money.
How it works
Consumers can download the Invisibly phone app and earn points in three ways — connect your bank and/or credit card accounts and share information automatically. Take surveys. Or buy points.
Points are used to access content from various publications that might otherwise charge you, such as stories in the Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated.
How much is this sharing arrangement worth? That’s impossible to say. But when Invisibly first launched, it had a cash model. With that model, the site estimated you’d earn about $2 to $5 per month, depending on how completely and aggressively you shared your data.
That said, you get paid nothing from companies like Facebook and Google, who regularly track your every online move. So even though Invisibly’s payment scheme is pretty puny, it’s quite literally better than nothing.
However, you are increasing getting the option to opt out of sharing your data. If privacy is a concern, you should think twice before signing up with this platform. Even though others are tracking you, they will soon be required to ask before they do so.
Meanwhile, this site only gets into your business if you invite them. For the equivalent of $2 to $5 per month in article access, I’m not sure that’s a worthwhile cost-benefit trade-off.
What we like
Each user can see what data Invisibly has gathered about them by viewing their “data vault.” You also have the right to erase or correct your data. In a world where most companies track you without a lot of disclosure, Invisibly’s transparency is refreshing.
What we don’t like
A number of countries and individual states have passed privacy protections because the technology on your phones and computers allow a nearly endless number of companies to track your every move. Collected data ranges from geolocation tracking — where you are and where you’ve been– to what you buy, what social media accounts you use and what you say. Invisibly is essentially asking you to give up some of those privacy protections in exchange for access to news stories.
The site says your information will be “anonymized,” so no one will be given you name or address. However, with enough data points, you lose any real anonymity.
If you do decide to sign up with Invisibly, we’d highly recommend that you do not provide your banking information. Connecting to your bank does not give them access to your account. But it gives them access to a huge amount of information about the companies you bank with and how you spend.
This could make you far more susceptible to financial frauds, such as “spear phishing.” With spear phishing, criminals use bits of true data to trick you into divulging more important data, such as your account passwords, credit card, or Social Security numbers.
What their users say (from the Apple App Store)
New favorite app!! Insane I can get the Wall Street Journal without the WSJ prices. I like the concept of using data to “pay” for news content. The surveys are short, and there are other ways to earn points too! Love this concept!!
This aggregator of news is becoming more valuable as many sources I used to read now have paywalls. Love knowing I can get my news without an early morning obstacle ruining my day. Keep making it better! I’m hanging in there with the updates.