Facebook is yet again paying people for monitoring their phone usage via a new app dubbed ‘Study’. This ‘Study’ app monitors the installed apps on an individual’s phone along with the time spent using those apps, the country the individual is in, and additional app data that could reveal specific features the individual is using, among other things.
Facebook also states that it won’t be looking after any specific content like messages, passwords, and the website an individual visits.
Initially, Facebook had a user-tracking app named Facebook Research that got shut down of controversies like the app being marketed to teens, and on the iPhone, relying on a special certificate that allowed the app to circumvent the App Store and gain deeper access to the phone, in violation of Apple’s rules. It was shut down in January.
Therefore, Facebook launching Study is a clear indication that they still require data on how people are using their phones. Similarly, it’s inevitable that the company has learned a thing or two from the controversies it has been through in recent times.
The Study app, however, will only be available for Android users of age 18 and above, and deeper phone access can be granted by each user, and it’ll be open with a series of screens describing what sorts of data does the app collect and how it’ll be used.
For verification, users will have to go through an age verification via their Facebook account. And for payment, the participants need to have a PayPal account, again with age 18 and above. Facebook states that it will reference other data after it analyses your data from the Study app, but the app data won’t itself be linked to your account or used for targeted ads to you.
Regarding payment, Facebook hasn’t made it clear about how much it’ll pay users in order to use the app and there’s just a blog post that goes like, “all research participants are compensated.” A spokesperson clearly declined to talk regarding how much the company is willing to pay.
The Study app will get launched in the US and India. Similarly, not everyone can sign up for Study, instead, the company targets you through an ad, and you’ll need to click on the ad to sign up. The same spokesperson had also declined to talk about which people will be targeted to use the Study app.
The app collected data is said to be exhaustive while other information is not collected.