Facebook acquired private data of 187,000 through spying app

Posted June 14, 2019

"Study from Facebook" is now only an option for users in the USA and in India who are above 18 years of age. Most of the users whose data was collected are located in India.

Having learnt from its mistakes with Research and Onavo - programs that were paying teenagers to give Facebook data on how they were using their phones - Facebook's new endeavour has an age limit. Sound good to you? "We plan to take this same approach going forward with other market research projects that help us understand how people use different products and services", Ben-Zedeff said, hinting that the company is working on more market research projects.

Facebook got into hot water earlier this year for running a program that allowed minors to hand over their phone data in exchange or compensation.

The news comes after a wave of scandals erupted over Facebook's handling and acquisition of users' data, most recently after it had paid minors as young as 13 to harvest data on how they had used apps from rival social media companies. This is all accessible before participants provide any market research information to the app. Cupertino-based Apple banned Facebook's former market research and virtual private network (VPN) app in January, which had been bought for $120m (£91m) in 2014.

Only users 18 and older will be eligible to participate in Study's data collection "at launch", the company said. Once you've downloaded the app, you can supposedly stop it from continuing to collect your information by uninstalling the app altogether.

The user can always choose to opt out of the program any time they want.

In January, Facebook removed its Research app from the iOS app store after being accused of paying teenagers for access to their mobile activity via a VPN app that gave Facebook almost unlimited access to user data and phone activity. The app collects all of a user's device data by installing a root network certificate. The Study app will keep track of the amount of time a user spends on certain apps. All the registered users are then rewarded for taking part in the program. "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".