Facebook paid teenagers monthly for access to their data

Facebook has been paying users as young as 13 up to $20 per month for access to their personal data in another effort to monitor social trends and capitalise on them.

Credit: Pete Linforth / The Digital Artist

Facebook has been paying volunteers money each month to install an app on their phone called ‘Facebook Research’ according to a report from TechCrunch. This application watches and records activity and actions on a phone and sends that information back to Facebook.

The app offers people between the ages of 13 to 25 up to $20 per month for almost complete access to their phone's data. Specifically, the app installs a custom root certificate which granted Facebook the direct ability to see users’ private messages, emails, web searches, and browsing activity – while also requesting users to take screenshots of their Amazon order history and send it back to Facebook for review.

Facebook was originally collecting an amount of this data through Onavo Protect, a VPN service that it acquired back in 2013. It is suggested that the data Facebook has collected through these methods has helped it to spot current or future competitors, which then allows them to acquire or clone them.

The Facebook Research app was removed from the App Store about 6 months ago after Apple complained about it violating its guidelines on data collection.

If you're concerned about your security online, make sure you take a look at our advice on how to stay safe when using the internet. 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
By Sean Bradley

By Sean Bradley

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?