Facebook is known as a data gatherer. It sells your data, mostly for activity tracking and – in best case – selling these data to ad companies. Facebook faced many privacy scandals and received many fines. Recently Facebook canceled controversial Onavo programme following outcry over the social media giant paying children to let it access their data, but now, Facebook launched app Study, but with one difference: it’s only for adults.
In short, Facebook will pay you for your privacy. The Study app will explicitly allows Facebook to collect information about the apps installed on users’ phones, the amount of time they spend on those apps, and what activities people are performing on those apps. Facebook said, that it won’t collect data like users’ IDs, passwords, photos, videos or messages, but it requires permissions, which may allow to collect such data. In that theoretical case, Facebook may face enormous fines, especially in European Union with its GDPR, however, the initial launch is being limited to the US and India.
Facebook also said that “We also don’t sell information from the app to third parties or use it to target ads, and it is not added to a participant’s Facebook account if they have one”.
Study will only be available on Android, because Apple does not accept such spyware on the App Store. Previous marketing research app Onavo, which Facebook acquired for 120M USD in 2014, was also banned by Apple.
It has been reported that it was Onavo which allowed Facebook to spot the enormous growth in WhatsApp. Facebook got chance and acquired WhatsApp just few months later. This is example of how can marketing spying corrupt market.
Reportedly, Onavo paid to users up to 20 USD per month, it’s not known how much will Facebook pay to users in Study “research”.