In January, Facebook landed itself in trouble and got its developer license revoked after it was revealed by TechCrunch that the social media company is paying teenagers to install its research app that grants the company access to user’s web activity and internet usage.
Now, Facebook has relaunched its research app, but this time it targets adults instead of teens. “Study from Facebook” is available only for Android users above 18 years of age in the U.S. and India. Facebook will choose adults via ads on its platform for the app to gather data from them in exchange for a monthly payment.
The selected adults will be notified that Facebook can see and record their web activities, the apps they are using on their smartphone, time spent in using other apps, network type and their country.
Facebook has promised this time that it will not record users’ personal data like photos, messages, emails, and passwords. The Zuckerberg-owned company also says it will not sell the collected data to third-parties. The description mentions that “Transparency” is a major part of the project.
Facebook aims to identify competitor apps and features that engage more users than its platform. Once identified, it will most likely copy those features and integrate them into its platform as it did before with Snapchat’s stories.
“Study from Facebook” is a bold attempt by Facebook amidst the looming antitrust case. Legislation and privacy advocates have already blamed Facebook for quashing competition by acquiring competitors apps and copying features.