• Follow us

Social Media

Facebook’s new Study app pays adults for data after teen scandal – TechCrunch

Facebook shut down its Research and Onavo programs after TechCrunch exposed how the company paid teenagers for root access to their phones to gain market data on competitors. Now Facebook is relaunching its paid market research program, but this time with principles — namely transparency, fair compensation and safety. The goal? To find out which other competing apps and features Facebook should buy, copy or ignore.

Today Facebook releases its “Study from Facebook” app for Android only. Some adults 18+ in the U.S. and India will be recruited by ads on and off Facebook to willingly sign up to let Facebook collect extra data from them in exchange for a monthly payment. They’ll be warned that Facebook will gather which apps are on their phone, how much time they spend using those apps, the app activity names of features they use in other apps, plus their country, device and network type.

Facebook promises it won’t snoop on user IDs, passwords or any of participants’ content, including photos, videos or messages. It won’t sell participants’ info to third parties, use it to target ads or add it to their account or the behavior profiles the company keeps on each user. Yet while Facebook writes that “transparency” is a major part of “Approaching market research in a responsible way,” it refuses to tell us how much participants will be paid.

“Study from Facebook” could give the company critical insights for shaping its product roadmap. If it learns everyone is using screensharing social network Squad, maybe it will add its own screensharing feature. If it finds group video chat app Houseparty is on the decline, it might not worry about cloning that functionality. Or if it finds Snapchat’s Discover mobile TV shows are retaining users for a ton of time, it might amp up teen marketing of Facebook Watch. But it also might rile up regulators and politicians who already see it as beating back competition through acquisitions and feature cloning.

An attempt to be less creepy

TechCrunch’s investigation from January revealed that Facebook had been quietly operating a research program codenamed Atlas that paid users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 per month in gift cards in exchange for root access to their phone so it could gather all their data for competitive analysis. That included everything the Study app grabs, but also their web browsing activity, and even encrypted information, as the app required users to install a VPN that routed all their data through Facebook. It even had the means to collect private messages and content shared — potentially including data owned by their friends.

Facebook’s Research app also abused Apple’s enterprise certificate program designed for distributing internal use-only apps to employees without the App Store or Apple’s approval. Facebook originally claimed it obeyed Apple’s rules, but Apple quickly disabled Facebook’s Research app and also shut down its enterprise certificate, temporarily breaking Facebook’s internal test builds of its public apps, as well as the shuttle times and lunch menu apps employees rely on.

In the aftermath of our investigation, Facebook shut down its Research program. It then also announced in February that it would shut down its Onavo Protect app on Android, which branded itself as a privacy app providing a free VPN instead of paying users while it collected tons of data on them. After giving users until May 9th to find a replacement VPN, the Onavo Protect was killed off.

This was an embarrassing string of events that stemmed from unprincipled user research. Now Facebook is trying to correct its course and revive its paid data collection program but with more scruples.

How Study from Facebook works

Unlike Onavo or Facebook Research, users can’t freely sign up for Study. They have to be recruited through ads Facebook will show on its own app and others to both 18+ Facebook users and non-users in the U.S. and India. That should keep out grifters and make sure the studies stay representative of Facebook’s user base. Eventually, Facebook plans to extend the program to other countries.

If users click through the ad, they’ll be brought to Facebook’s research operations partner Applause’s website, which clearly identifies Facebook’s involvement, unlike Facebook Research, which hid that fact until users were fully registered. There they’ll be informed how the Study app is opt-in, what data they’ll give up in exchange for what compensation and that they can opt out at any time. They’ll need to confirm their age, have a PayPal account (which are only supposed to be available to users 18 and over) and Facebook will cross-check the age to make sure it matches the person’s Facebook profile, if they have one. They won’t have to sign and NDA like with the Facebook Research program.

Anyone can download the Study from Facebook app from Google Play, but only those who’ve been approved through Applause will be able to log in and unlock the app. It will again explain what Facebook will collect, and ask for data permissions. The app will send periodic notifications to users reminding them they’re selling their data to Facebook and offering them an opt-out. Study from Facebook will use standard Google-approved APIs and won’t use a VPN, SSL bumping, root access, enterprise certificates or permission profiles you install on your device like the Research program that ruffled feathers.

Different users will be paid the same amount to their PayPal account, but Facebook wouldn’t say how much it’s dealing out, or even whether it was in the ball park of cents, dollars or hundreds of dollars per month. That seems like a stern departure from its stated principle of transparency. This matters, because Facebook earns billions in profit per quarter. It has the cash to potentially offer so much to Study participants that it effectively coerces them to give up their data; $10 to $20 per month like it was paying Research participants seems reasonable in the U.S., but that’s enough money in India to make people act against their better judgement.

The launch shows Facebook’s boldness despite the threat of antitrust regulation focusing on how it has suppressed competition through its acquisitions and copying. Democrat presidential candidates could use Study from Facebook as a talking point, noting how the company’s huge profits earned from its social network domination afford it a way to buy private user data to entrench its lead.

At 15 years old, Facebook is at risk of losing touch with what the next generation wants out of their phones. Rather than trying to guess based on their activity on its own app, it’s putting its huge wallet to work so it can pay for an edge on the competition.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

TechCrunch » Social

Dropbox relaunches as an enterprise collaboration workspace 2019-06-11 13:19:37Dropbox is evolving from a file storage system to an enterprise software portal and collaboration workspace. Today the company launches a new version

Animal Crossing for Switch gets delayed 2019-06-11 12:46:28Fans had few expectations rolling into Nintendo’s E3 Direct that were more pronounced than hopes for more details on Animal Crossing for Switch.

Mobile games now account for 33% of installs, 2019-06-11 12:25:12Mobile gaming continues to hold its own, accounting for 10% of the time users spend in apps — a percentage that has remained steady over the yea

Here’s Mary Meeker’s 2019 internet trends report 2019-06-11 12:11:37Mary Meeker presents tech's favorite slide deck.

Verified Expert Growth Marketing Agency: Growth Pilots 2019-06-11 12:05:27Growth Pilots is one of the more exclusive performance marketing agencies in San Francisco, but they know how to help high-growth startups excel at pa

As Alzheimer’s costs soar, startups like Neurotrack raise 2019-06-11 12:00:36As studies show that early diagnosis and preventative therapies can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s, startups that are working to diagnose

72 hours left on early-bird savings for TC 2019-06-11 12:00:19We’re totally stoked to see all of you at TC Sessions: Mobility 2019 on July 10 in San Jose, Calif. That’s slightly less than a month away

Facebook’s new Study app pays adults for data 2019-06-11 11:59:28Facebook shut down its Research and Onavo programs after TechCrunch exposed how the company paid teenagers for root access to their phones to gain mar

Over 1,400 self-driving vehicles are now in testing 2019-06-11 11:54:22In a talk at the Uber Elevate Summit in Washington, D.C., today, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao shared a total overall figure

Mozilla gives Firefox a new logo as it 2019-06-11 11:47:55Mozilla’s Firefox is getting a new logo that is meant to reflect that the brand now stands for more than a browser. With products like its passw

Liberty’s challenge to UK state surveillance powers reveals 2019-06-11 11:43:46A legal challenge to the UK’s controversial mass surveillance regime has revealed shocking failures by the main state intelligence agency, which

Some sage security advice after Radiohead’s unreleased music 2019-06-11 11:42:38Bad news: Radiohead was hacked. Last week, a hacker stole the band’s lead singer Thom Yorke’s private minidisk archive from the band&rsquo

Mashable

All the data self-driving cars take in from New! 2019-06-18 13:00:00Self-driving cars are almost too observant, taking in information from light-emitting LiDAR sensors, radar equipment, microphones, and cameras. But al

Why do some people Capitalize Letters when they're New! 2019-06-18 12:18:07In the era of text messaging, tweeting, and digital communication, capitalization can be a Real Bitch. From a young age, we're trained to capitalize

The Anova Bluetooth sous vide cooker is $20 New! 2019-06-18 12:05:02TL;DR: This precise sous vide cooker from Anova Culinary is your best bet at achieving a perfect steak — pick one up on Amazon for just $78.78 (

Apple TV is getting picture-in-picture video playback New! 2019-06-18 11:56:30Apple is never keen to talk about forthcoming new features until they are ready to launch, but sometimes beta releases reveal stuff early. That's exa

So many health and wellness apps haven't done New! 2019-06-18 11:32:01With the explosion in health and wellness apps peddling self-improvement, your smartphone could one day hold the keys to helping you manage your lungs

Here's why the future of mobility is sucking New! 2019-06-18 11:30:02Based on how much we rely on shared transport services (Lime, Mobike, Uber Jump) today, it's safe to assume the next steps will involve driverless ve

Man straps GoPro to a turtle and gets New! 2019-06-18 11:26:01 Looks like Crush the turtle's totally gnarly cousin is shooting some sick pond footage.  But the credit truly goes to The Fish Whisperer, a Y

The 2-in-1 Acer Spin 5 has Alexa built New! 2019-06-18 11:16:57TL;DR: The 2-in-1 Acer Spin 5 is a serious Dell XPS competitor and it's only $799.99 at Amazon right now, saving you $200. You would think that wanti

Beats EP headphones are on sale for under New! 2019-06-18 11:07:13TL;DR: These durable Beats on-ear headphones usually cost $129.99, but you can grab a pair on sale at Walmart for just $73.99 — a $56 savings. B

Scientists just filmed a deep sea creature spew New! 2019-06-18 11:01:22At some 4,700 feet beneath the sea, marine scientists filmed a shrimp spew glowing matter, or bioluminescence, from its mouth.  This natural even

Inventor hacks up a perfectly good Tesla Model New! 2019-06-18 11:00:00Simone Giertz, the queen of shitty robots, modified her Tesla into a not-at-all-shitty pickup truck that she has dubbed "Truckla." The YouTuber and

The iPad Pro is on sale at Amazon New! 2019-06-18 10:50:22TL;DR: The all-powerful iPad Pro is the latest and greatest tablet from Apple — save $100 on Amazon and score one for just $699. When you think

The Next Web

This is how rich you’d be if you New! 2019-06-18 11:48:05People don’t usually regret their first bit of exciting hardware. On the contrary, the majority of folks have strong nostalgic feelings about th

Crypto Twitter responds to the reality of Facebook’s New! 2019-06-18 11:25:41Following months of speculation, Facebook finally confirmed the release of Libra next year. The tech giant also unveiled details about Calibra, its co

How to avoid spilling coffee on your expensive New! 2019-06-18 10:43:23DON’T DRINK COFFEE NEAR YOUR EXPENSIVE LAPTOP. For more gear, gadget, and hardware news and reviews, follow Plugged on Twitter and Flipboard.

EU lawmakers need to look beyond the ‘top New! 2019-06-18 10:00:19Brussels policy makers could be forgiven for wanting to move quickly to regulate ‘the internet.’ Assailed by an avalanche of public opinio

This $29 bundle lays the groundwork for any New! 2019-06-18 09:00:00Over eight courses featuring more than 20 hours of instruction, you’ll start gathering insight on the focal points of a winning business plan.

CHEAP: $270 off Harman Kardon’s Onyx 4 speaker New! 2019-06-18 08:52:42We’ve written quite a few times about cute and compact Bluetooth speakers. But today, we’re bringing a mega deal for a top-shelf speaker.&

How YouTube became the app parents love to New! 2019-06-18 08:48:33Over the last several months, YouTube has reeled from a wave of criticism. It has been accused of radicalizing young voters, ignoring harassment of LG

How 3D spintronics will take hard drive performance New! 2019-06-18 08:37:08Spintronics might not be the sort of word that comes up in everyday discussions, but it has been revolutionising computer technology for years. It&rsq

How to get started with mind mapping apps New! 2019-06-18 08:34:26Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. List ma

An open letter to my Macbook Pro, on New! 2019-06-18 08:32:52My dearest MacBook Pro, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. It wasn’t meant to be like this. We’ve spent five beautiful years togethe

‘Crypto Twitter’ anxiously awaits white paper for Facebook’s 2019-06-17 12:13:52Tomorrow, Facebook is expected to release full details of its new “cryptocurrency” project Libra — as always, Twitter

AIs should be legally liable for their mistakes 2019-06-17 11:03:54Assigning blame can often be a complex task. A person’s actions, intentions, and state of mind all come into consideration when meting out judge

Entrepreneur

Avoid Negativity by Embracing This Hidden Part of New! 2019-06-18 13:30:00Jack Canfield says that meeting your goals can be as easy as appealing to the person inside you.

Why Apple Evangelist Oleksandr Kosovan Is Competing With New! 2019-06-18 13:00:00He spent over a month's salary on his first Apple keyboard and lived in a dorm room while starting his business. This is his story.

The Ugly Truth About 'Vanity Metrics': 3 Keys New! 2019-06-18 12:30:00Data is hardly in short supply, which is why it's so important to understand what to measure and how it relates to your business.

Don't Get Duped by This Sneaky Google Calendar New! 2019-06-18 12:04:17Despite what that Google Calendar invite says, you probably didn't win a bunch of money.

Chick-fil-A Is Now the 3rd-Largest Restaurant Chain in New! 2019-06-18 11:59:50Chick-fil-A moved up from the No. 7 spot on last year's Top 200 ranking, passing Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell and Subway.

4 Tech Trends Shaping the Future of Media New! 2019-06-18 11:30:00We've all heard about AR, VR and blockchain, but what exactly are entertainment and media businesses doing with these technologies?

Want to Become a Billionaire? Invest in Your New! 2019-06-18 10:30:00Many investors haven't kept up with inflation over the last 20 years. Have you?

This Entrepreneur Stars in a Hit Network Series, New! 2019-06-18 10:00:00You've seen June Diane Raphael in "Grace and Frankie," but did you know she founded the first workspace to offer child care?

3 Things That Make Angel Investors Want to New! 2019-06-18 09:10:00Here are the key ingredients for a pitch that wins over angel investors.

Facebook's Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know So Far New! 2019-06-18 09:03:16Facebook's big blockchain play will reportedly create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and beyond.

How One Man Went From Maintaining Sports Fields New! 2019-06-18 08:30:00The athletic director for the University of Texas breaks down his journey to the top.

4 Things Leaders Misunderstand About Performance Reviews New! 2019-06-18 08:00:00Workers crave feedback, but feedback loops often go wrong.

E-Commerce Times

For Brands the Future Is Facebook 2019-06-07 11:48:39Mark Zuckerberg recently said that the future of Facebook is private. Interestingly, connecting the dots between all the announcements made at Faceboo

When Retail Customers Take It on the Chin, 2019-06-06 13:42:14I am a reluctant Costco shopper. My wife is one of the many who really love the chain. Me... not so much. Seriously -- someone should knock Costco's

7 Critical Skills for Running an E-Commerce Business 2019-06-05 18:47:34There are many benefits to running an e-commerce business, whether you operate purely online or not. Online transactions allow you to expand your reac

New Antitrust Probe Tightens Screws on Big Tech 2019-06-05 13:24:14The U.S. House of Representatives Antitrust Subcommittee has opened an investigation into competition in digital markets, increasing the pressure on b

Trailhead, Salesforce's Not-So-Secret Weapon 2019-06-04 14:50:29Salesforce has used its Trailhead learning system to teach developers how to program on its Lightning platform for more than five years. The company l

Stripe Offers SMBs Chargeback Fraud Relief 2019-06-04 06:21:10Payment processing company Stripe has launched Chargeback Protection, a machine learning-based system to limit the impact of fraudulent credit card tr

The Importance of Strong Domain Security to Brand 2019-06-03 15:14:11Building and sustaining a brand has gotten more challenging. The global marketplace, empowered by the Internet, has delivered a raft of opportunities

The Cannabis Rush: Where There's Smoke, There's E-Commerce 2019-05-31 08:00:00The budding online cannabis industry has a long way to go before it delivers bumper crops. The market for both recreational and medicinal cannabis has

Trailblazing a Path for Blockchain 2019-05-30 14:24:26Many of us think of blockchain as the technology that prevents counterfeiting digital currencies like bitcoin. However, the so-called cryptocurrencies

Amazon to Edge Out Small Wholesalers 2019-05-30 06:16:16Amazon has been reworking relationships with several of its long-time wholesale suppliers in a bid to cut costs, according to a report. The plan is to

Getting Chatty With Chatbots 2019-05-28 15:04:49Chatbots are an important part of the e-commerce shopping experience. They answer questions, provide information, and help customers along in their bu

Leveraging the Tools That Fuel E-Commerce Growth 2019-05-25 08:00:00E-commerce technologies have been innovating fast. It's no surprise, considering e-commerce in North America grew by 15 percent in 2018, to reach mor

Social News Daily

Topless Lady Shuts Down Anti-Abortion Protest Out Front 2019-06-07 17:34:45A topless woman’s scheme to take on an anti-abortion protest in front of a high school had her baring her boobies in front of both students and

It’s On – KFC Has Began Selling Chicken 2019-06-06 17:02:20The fries are essentially like fried chicken pieces, minus the actual flesh within – leaving the signature-spiced covering that KFC is famed for

Ex-Con Sticks Up Two Banks Armed With An 2019-06-06 11:39:50An ex-con’s caught after stealing tens of thousands of currency from several banks by vowing to ‘blow up’ a painted avocado. A 47-ye

Colossal Penis Mowed Into Field For Trump To 2019-06-05 17:07:07There are lots of ways you can make Pres. Trump feel welcome: you can offer him coffee, or mow a penis into a field for him to view as his plane lands

How Companies Can Use Social Media to Their 2019-06-04 09:13:25Social media has made advertising much easier for companies looking to put their products out in full view of the public. You can reach a wide audienc

Why Climbers Continue To Die On Mount Everest 2019-06-03 19:14:52Bodies all over, why? Well, Mount Everest climbers have different causes of death, however here are some of the most common. Mount Everest is said to

2019’s Most Brutal Trump Memes So Far 2019-06-01 10:30:06The year isn’t even halfway over, yet Donald Trump has managed to make a fool of himself and our country countless times. From inviting the nati

9 Epic Photos From Abortion Ban Protests Around 2019-06-01 09:00:23Republicans have always said that when they gained control in Congress, they would work to overturn Roe v. Wade and here they are, cashing in on that

‘Rat Bar’ Pop-Up Where You Can Pay To 2019-05-31 18:10:50The San Francisco Dungeon renowned for its interactive history tours, featuring enthralling special effects and live actors, is opening its Rat Bar. S

This College Is Actually Paying People To NOT 2019-05-31 17:06:38A college wants to compensate incoming in-state students to delay their inaugural date and not attend the campus for up to a year. Virginia Tech budge

Woman Asks For $100,000 Via GoFundMe Page Because… 2019-05-31 12:14:44If only all our non-urgent monetary problems in the world could be fixed with the invisible patrons of GoFundMe. Apparently, that’s a popular id

Need To Lose Weight? Try Crying At Night, 2019-05-31 11:09:48Weight loss tips and studies are a dime-a-dozen these days and some of them are quite costly even and discouraging. Of course, there are some affordab


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.