Facebook Study - keeping tabs on competitors

Facebook wants your data.                  Angela Lang  CNET

Facebook wants your data. Angela Lang CNET

"What a concept." Facebook also is now sensitive to the use of teen data and will require that those installing Study be 18 years of age or older.

Facebook announced Tuesday that it is recruiting participants to download its new app Study from the Google Play store.

The firm says it'll compensate users for the participation in the app, and limits it to 18 years and older (though it notes ominously that this is at launch.) Facebook's Study app will only be available to people in India and the United States t launch, but the firm will expand its availability over time. "This is all accessible before participants provide any market research information to the app".

Facebook has rolled out a new Study from Facebook marketing research program that involves users downloading an app to collect data from their phone.

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.

How Facebook's latest research program works. It's also only open to users in the United States and India. Today, the company introduced its Study app, the goal of which is to - you guessed it - "study" users, in exchange for those users getting paid. "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".

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Facebook is not saying how much it will pay participants to share their information.

Around that time, Facebook also shut down Onavo, a separate app it offered that routed a user's web activity through a virtual private network to make it more secure, but also gave Facebook valuable insights into internet activity and behavior.

App features that you employ.

The Study app will not collect user ID's, passwords, or content stored on your phone.

Those who do sign up will learn how the app works and what information it will collect.

Facebook is promising that it will periodically remind users that they've agreed to be part of this study, in case they've forgotten that Facebook is still peeking over their shoulder. Advertisers have reaped the benefits of the company's ad targeting capabilities, but marketers want safe platforms - and channels - where their messaging can be heard without the risk of people's data being misused, or worse, stolen.

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