Facebook launches app that will pay users to collect their data

Facebook's Study program pays for information about the apps you use

This practice of Facebook recruiting folks to give up access to their phones for chump change also raises the question of whether users might think of their data differently if Facebook were paying for it. The app will record the user's country, the device brand and model, and the type of network he/she uses. Sound good to you? Participants will be paid and the app is now available only in India and US.

We'll run ads to encourage people to participate in this market research program. "When someone clicks on an ad, they'll have the option to register and, if they qualify, they'll be invited to download the app", Facebook writes in its blog post.

The app will be exclusive to Android users in the USA and India (there was no indication of Study from Facebook coming to Apple's phones), available in the Google Play Store only to those who have been approved.

The firm said it is intending to be as transparent and open as possible about the app, and will keep their data safe, but Facebook has not revealed how much it will actually pay for people's data. This is all accessible before participants provide any market research information to the app. In addition to Facebook Research, Apple removed Facebook research app Onavo VPN from the app store in June 2018.

Facebook specifically says that it does not record user credentials for your apps or content, and that the data it collects is not shared with advertisers, but the company's track record on privacy isn't exactly stellar.

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The program is managed by a third party - Facebook's long-time partner Applause.

However, Facebook said that it would not try to access confidential information.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook used its now-defunct Research app, which Apple banned earlier in the year after discovering that the app was violating its policies.

Facebook constantly comes under fire for the way it treats user data, and its previous attempts at monetizing the data it mines from its users have been heavily criticized.

The app will be only available to people in the United States of America and India and will expand to other countries over time. If you trust that they really won't, you have to be 18 years old and have an Android phone to be able to join. "This allows us to learn more about how participants use different services", the Study app description on Google Playstore reads.

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