FACEBOOK'S THIRST FOR DATA isn't going away anytime soon, but it will at least try and gobble up info in a more transparent way with plans to pay people for their data.
Though the social network ran into hot water with its Onavo Protect VPN app, which got yanked off the Apple's App Store for violating privacy policies by tracking users' app usage, Facebook is having another bite at the cherry.
This time in the form of Facebook Study, a market research app that will compensate users for parting with data about the apps they use and the time spent on them, as well as the network and device they are using.
Facebook claims it'll be transparent with how the app works and what it will do with the data collected, and stressed the information wouldn't be flogged to third-party companies.
"We'll run ads to encourage people to participate in this market research programme. When someone clicks on an ad, they'll have the option to register and, if they qualify, they'll be invited to download the app," explained Sagee Ben-Zedeff, a Facebook product manager.
"Once invited, they'll find the Study from Facebook app in the Google Play Store. As they sign up, people will see a description of how the app works and what information they'll be sharing with us so they can confirm they want to participate.
"Anyone who uses the app will be compensated for contributing to the research."
How much that compensation will be wasn't mentioned, but we don't expect it'll be vast sums of money; then again, something is better than nothing.
Its also noteworthy that this Facebook Study is only available on Android, rather than iOS; it's likely Apple would turn it's nose up at the app that wants people to surrender privacy for money.
But Google has a similar data-seeking-thing in the form of its Rewards app, which provides users with Play Store credit of answering survey questions based on the place they've visited and other bits of info Google has sucked up. Rewards/compensation for each survey is pennies in value but the sum can add up reasonably quickly.
But the problem with Facebook doing something similar is the amount of privacy-infringing things its been embroiled in over the past year or so. And the move kinda flies in the face of Mark Zuckerberg's ambition to make Facebook a 'privacy-focussed' platform. Feel free to let out a collective sigh. µ
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