Facebook Data Gathering Program Returns, And Its Name Is 'Study'

The social giant Facebook is just full of controversies. In its attempts to be the best out there, it wants to do whatever it takes to keep its throne.

Back in January 2019, Facebook used to pay users, especially teens, by making them install 'Facebook Research' in exchange of user data it could gather.

And before that, there was Facebook's Onavo, the VPN app was able to track Facebook competitors through data it collected from 'willing' users.

The company terminated the two programs after huge backlash, but this time, Facebook is again doing something similar, by announcing an app called 'Study', which collects user data in exchange for cash.

With the app that has a 'friendlier' name, the social network said that it will use data collected from the app to “helps us learn which apps people value and how they’re used”, and understand the community to improve its array of apps.

To avoid backlash, Facebook is making the app a bit more transparent, saying that:

"We’ve learned that what people expect when they sign up to participate in market research has changed, and we’ve built this app to match those expectations. We’re offering transparency, compensating all participants, and keeping people’s information safe and secure."
  • The apps installed on users' phone.
  • The time users spend using apps.
  • Users location, device and network type.
  • App activity names, which may show Facebook the names of app features users are using.
Facebook Study app

Facebook said the app won’t collect user IDs, passwords, photos, videos, or messages.

Furthermore, Facebook said that it will periodically remind users that they’re part of the data collection program, so they can change the permissions it uses, or opt out if they no longer wish to participate.

The company’s product manager, Sagee Ben-Zedeff, assured users that Facebook won’t sell any of the data to third parties, or use it for ad targeting.

Facebook’s vice president of public policy Kevin Martin further defended the company’s use of enterprise certificates, saying that it is "a relatively well-known industry practice."

But when speaking about the fact, things should be questioned. As the world has seen numerous times, Facebook has been found leaking data several times in the past.

And when it comes to privacy, Facebook is no stranger in controversies, as it is known to have gathered a scarily huge amount of information about users to target them with eerily precise ads.

For those who don't mind be spied by Facebook, they can participate to the program by first registering for it. They can only be users after being approved through Facebook’s research partner, Applause.

Facebook will then send them a link to its app on Google Play. Users also need have to have a PayPal account in order to receive payments.

The Android app is only meant for adults residing in the U.S. and India.

Read: On The Internet, Be Very Careful: Maintain Privacy By Limiting What You Give