Will you sell your privacy for a few dollars a month? It seems that Facebook believes that many of its users will say yes. Months after the social network faces hard criticism to pay some users, many of them teenagers, to get access to their data on the use of their phone and internet through the Atlas Project, now try again with another application.
The application called Study keeps track of how you use your phone, supposedly to help you better manage your time and learn more about your habits while connected. However, you should keep in mind that by using this app you are giving Facebook access to that data. The company says you will pay for it, but the money you will receive is nothing compared to what the company could obtain based on your personal information.
These types of strategies are common in market research, as companies pay large sums of money to get an idea of how people use their products or services. But an application that essentially uses the use of your phone to monitor you, even with your consent, raises a new set of questions for Facebook, which has been seen repeatedly in the hot chair due to controversies around the privacy of personal information .
The company had already been the center of criticism earlier this year for a similar application, Facebook Research, which paid a monthly amount to its users, many of them as young as 13 years old, for access to its use and activity of data. Subsequently, it is limited to only over 18 years, and the application promised to be more direct with what it collects.
The research program called Project Atlas was looking for users who were willing to install an application that would allow Facebook to access their phones without restrictions, whether iOS or Android. By giving them that access, people will receive compensation of $ 20 per month, in addition to having the opportunity to earn more money as reference rates. This was confirmed by several publications in social networks.
The controversy is not only aroused by the alleged invasion of privacy, although it has been remunerated, but by the type of ads that were presented to attract users. In the case of uTest, the objective seems to have been explained in some way, as the company published ads for a social media research study paid on Instagram and Snapchat. However, in the case of Applause and Betabound, the name of Facebook or its other social platforms were not explicitly mentioned when enrolling in these studies.
While these pages reveal what type of information is extracted from users, the explanation is quite extensive, and is generally not read completely before accepting the deal. We must mention that, for underage users, Applause requires parental permission, and Facebook s is mentioned in the consent agreement.
Anyway, it is not a simple basic access. As he says Guardian Mobile Firewall, the type of data that Facebook could access includes private messages and chats within the applications, Internet searches, emails, web browsing activity and location information. As part of the study, users were even asked to provide screenshots of their purchases on Amazon. Whether or not the users signed up voluntarily, or if they know the extent of the permits they were granting, there is no doubt that it is too much information for a simple $ 20 dollar payment card.