Facebook launches app that pays users for data on app usage

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Social networking giant Facebook has launched an app that will pay the users to share information with the social media giant about which apps that they are using on June 11, 2019. Facebook has earlier rolled out similar apps that tracked what activities people did on their phones. However, both the apps were shut down after it invited criticism for infringing on privacy and for violating Apple’s App Store guidelines.

The social network said that the new app is known as Study and is different than the previous two and was built from scratch. The app is only available on the Google Play Store but Facebook said that it might work to expand it to the iOS in the future. The new application from Facebook will collect information about which apps people are using and for how long including what app features are used while giving Facebook a good insight in to how people use the services of the competitors.

The social networking giant has assured that it will not track passwords or account IDs and will periodically remind people that the app is collecting their data. An earlier market research app from the company known as Research had also invited criticism earlier in 2019 when a report found that the teens were using it and was also going against the Apple’s guidelines. Apple removed it from its app store while Facebook eventually shut it down completely.

The other app was known as the Onavo Protect and was a virtual private network that was used to keep information private in public settings. It also collected information about app usage and sent it to Facebook. That app has also been shut down. It seems like the social networking giant is acting upfront this time. Lance Cottrell, the chief scientist for the cybersecurity firm Ntrepid said, “They are being a little less intrusive with this one”. Some of the privacy experts have opined that the concerned users will still not know exactly what information they are sending.

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