Facebook Launches an App That Pays Users for Data on App Usage

Yolanda Curtis
June 15, 2019

It was also highlighted that, since 2016, Facebook was paying users aged 13 to 35 up to $20 per month, plus referral fees, to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android "Facebook Research" app.

In the a year ago, reports showed that Facebook has released multiple apps created to track user data. "We also notify users on the Study from Facebook website and in the Play Store description about what information we collect and how it will be used".

The program, which comes in the form of a separate app called Study, replaces a similar product called Facebook Research. That means no user IDs, no passwords, or things like photos, videos, or messages. The company found that 33% of all mobile downloads worldwide consisted of gaming apps, which also made up 10% of the total time spent on mobile devices.

The development comes nearly more than a month after the internet giant made it easy for Google users to sign in to their accounts on their laptops or PCs using their Android smartphones as hardware security keys.

Privacy experts are raising a big red flag saying they're concerned users will still not know exactly what information they are sending to facebook. "We plan to take this approach going forward with other market research projects that help us understand how people use different products and services".

The user can always choose to opt out of the program any time they want.

Facebook said it chose not to decrypt most of the data collected by the program and didn't elaborate on what "non-targeted" content was swept up in the process. Later in the memo, Canahuati defended Facebook's research methods and attacked the media for its portrayal of the app, but later shut down the research app following intense public backlash.

While some of the details of Facebook's program are up in the air, including the all-important price of your phone usage data, you should probably err on the side of "not participating" if you see an ad for the study pop up during your regular use of the Facebook app. This is all accessible before participants provide any market research information to the app. They clarified that they will be working with a long-time partner, Applause, to handle the registration, compensation, and customer support. Even worse, many users who were lured into the study were minors.

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