Facebook

Facebook launches app that will pay users for their data

A new Facebook app will allow users to sell the company data on how they use competitors’ apps.

Facebook announced Tuesday that it is recruiting participants to download its new app Study from the Google Play store.

Once it is downloaded, it will transmit data with Facebook on what other apps the users have, what features they use, and how much time is spent on them.

Facebook says it won’t see any specific content, however, including messages, passwords, and websites you visit.

Facebook said it is looking to approach marketing research in “a responsible way” and that “what people expect when they sign up to participate in market research has changed”. But privacy experts say incentivizing the sale of data complicates the question of consent. “We’re offering transparency, compensating all participants, and keeping people’s information safe and secure.”

“As they sign up, people will see a description of how the app works and what information they’ll be sharing with us so they can confirm they want to participate,” Sagee’s explanation continues. “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. This is all accessible before participants provide any market research information to the app.”

Only users 18 and older will be eligible to participate in Study’s data collection “at launch”, the company said. Facebook did not say how much compensation users will receive for the Study app. It’s also only open to users in the US and India.

Facebook promised that will remind users that they are agree to be part of this study. Also, here’s what data the app will collect, per Sagee’s post:

  • The apps installed on a user’s phone
  • The amount of time spent using those apps
  • The user’s country, device and network type
  • And “app activity names, which may show us the names of app features participants are using”

The question, is how many people actually trust a guarantee like that from Facebook — but, hey, stranger things have happened.

“Transparency and handling people’s information responsibly have guided how we’ve built Study from Facebook,” Sagee’s post concludes.

It help Facebook to understand how people use different products and services.”

A spokesperson did not comment on how much people will be paid and who will be target with invitations to use the Study app. They said that the list of information the app collects is exhaustive, and that other information is not collect

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