Facebook App Paid Users for Unfettered Access to their Personal Data

Facebook Research

Facebook released an app that paid users for full access to their data.

The Facebook Research app functioned as a VPN (virtual private network) that made all incoming and outgoing data be accessible by the company. Users ranged in age from 13-35 years, and were paid $20 per month for what is in effect a complete turnover of their online personal behavior data.

The Facebook Research app had been available since 2016 on both Android and iOs devices, but was banned from the Apple store following the news of the app’s functionality.

The story was first reported by TechCrunch, which revealed that “Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history page… The strategy shows how far Facebook is willing to go and how much it’s willing to pay to protect its dominance — even at the risk of breaking the rules of Apple’s iOS platform on which it depends.”

Facebook has frequently courted controversy because of its collection of user information, including those without Facebook accounts.

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