Facebook on Tuesday launched an app that will pay users to impart information with the online media monster about which apps they’re using. The company is recently has taken off 2 similar apps that followed what activities people did on their phones. Be that it may, both were closed down after drawing criticism for encroaching on privacy and disregarding Apple’s App Store guidelines.
Facebook said the new app, called Study, is unique in relation to the previous two and was built from scratch. And it is just accessible on the Google Play Store, though Facebook said it might work to grow it to iOs in the future.
The new app will gather information about which apps people are using and for what extent, including which app highlights are used. That could give Facebook profitable insight into how people use their rivals’ services.
Facebook said it won’t track passwords or account IDs and it will intermittently remind people that the app is gathering their data.
A past statistical-surveying app from the company, called Research, got in heated water earlier this year when a report found that teens were using it and it was avoiding Apple’s guidelines. Apple booted it from its app store and Facebook, in the end, shut it down completely.
The other app, which is names as Onavo Protect, was a virtual private network service used to keep data private in public settings — yet it was additionally collecting information about app usage and sending it to Facebook. That app, as well, has been closed down.
Lance Cottrell, chief scientist for the cybersecurity firm Ntrepid said Facebook gives off an impression of being acting in a more upfront manner this time.
“They are being somewhat less intrusive with this one,” he stated, noting that Facebook says it won’t gather a portion of the more sensitive information from people’s phones, for example, photos and web searches.
What it will do, Cottrell suspects are given a Facebook further advantage over competitors since it will almost certainly tell to what extent apps are being used, and even which highlights within them are most famous. Facebook already has a step up when setting up such statistical research, Cottrell said — relatively few different companies could release a comparable service and get as many participants as Facebook is bound to.
“It’s a great deal of competitive intelligence, however, a little less keeping an eye on the users,” he said. But some privacy specialists are concerned users will even now not know precisely what information they are sending.
Various people skip reading protection policies, noted mobile app security researcher Will Strafach, who concentrated the basic code of Facebook’s Research app earlier this year. And if Facebook updates the privacy policies, there is no guarantee they will be upfront about it, he said.
“I think that it’s Facebook’s job to make it very clear (how it works),” he said. “They haven’t done that before.” Regardless of whether, one thing the app is certain to do is to give Facebook more understanding into personal data and use of not only its own services, yet others too.
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Facebook said the app will not be used to serve people advertisements, and information will not be imparted with third-party companies — a line the company has been walking cautiously since its Cambridge Analytica embarrassment a year ago that exposed the data of a huge number of Facebook users to an outside political research firm.
The Study app is currently accessible in the US and India. Facebook is not stating how much it will pay members to share their information.