On Tuesday, 12th June 2019 Facebook launched an app called Study to watch and track the activities of its users. Facebook wants to know the activities of its users when they use other apps on their phone. Facebook is one of the leading social media platforms online but they also have a lot of competitors who are desperate for people’s attention.
Via Study app, Facebook will be collecting information from the user. They want to know what other apps you are using, for how long you use them and what activities you do with them.
Facebook also confirmed that they will not be selling this data to eCommerce companies. This information will be used by its internal research team. Moreover, they won’t be accessing your username, password, images, and videos on your phone.
Is it safe to use Facebook’s Study app?
There is no one answer to this question. Everything depends on how much you care about your privacy. Installing Facebook’s Study app is totally safe even if you use your phone for banking purposes like transferring money, checking account balance and paying bills. The most they can do is know which app you use the most and try to understand your buying behavior. To me, it seems like they just want to know what kind of apps people are using these days and other details related to the same.
Is this the first time Facebook is trying to spy on its users?
No, this is not the first time Facebook is trying to lure its user into installing a data collection app on their phone. That too in exchange for just a few bucks. Facebook had launched two other similar apps a few years back. Both these apps had to shut down due to outrage from media and other organizations. There were accusations from people that Facebook is selling the data to third parties in exchange for money.
Obviously, Facebook denied the accusations and has now launched another similar app called Study. Onavo Protect was the first app Facebook had launched which was suppose to be just a VPN service. Reports suggest that this app was collecting information about user’s activities and was sending it to Facebook. This app had to be shut down and was removed from the Google Play app store.
On Facebook’s second unethical attempt to steal information, they were caught red-handed by none other than Apple. They broke the strict privacy rules set by Apple by letting teenagers use the app called Research. Software testing companies like Applause, BetaBound, and uTest were also involved in this scandal. They were used as a platform for letting users download the Research app.
No one knows exactly what Facebook does with so much data. This is their third attempt at it and they seem like they have from their previous mistakes. Apple tries hard to stop them from stealing data but they find clever ways to do so by buying other apps like WhatsApp and Instagram.
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