Facebook announced on Tuesday a new market research initiative designed to understand how consumers interact with apps, which will include collecting a large amount of data about participants in the study.
The new “Study from Facebook” program will involve Facebook users voluntarily downloading a separate app and allowing it to collect information on how much they us other programs. Information on what data will be collected will be available to users in advance and users will be financially compensated, Facebook said.
Information collected will include what apps are installed on the user’s phone, the amount of time they spend on these apps, what country the participant is in and app activity names.
Facebook wrote it believes “this work is important to help us improve our products for the people who use Facebook.”
None of the data collected will be sold to third parties or used in targeted adds and it won't include user IDs, passwords or a user's Facebook profile content, Facebook said. The company promised to keep all data “safe and secure.”
Only users over 18 will be allowed to participate, and the program is being rolled out in the United States and India to begin with, although Facebook said it will be expanded to other countries “over time.”
“Approaching market research in a responsible way is really important,” Facebook wrote. “Transparency and handling people’s information responsibly have guided how we’ve built Study from Facebook. We plan to take this same approach going forward with other market research projects that help us understand how people use different products and services.”