Facebook wants your data so bad it'll pay you for it

Image credit: Shutterstock (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you've been uncertain about whether Facebook is studying your every move, and what it knows about you, there's a new way to be sure – by telling Facebook everything, and getting some sweet, sweet cash in exchange.

Facebook Study is a new app from the company, announced in a post in its newsroom, that tracks every single thing you do on your phone, and then pays you for it.

In the post, Facebook announced its new focus on "reward-based market research programs", of which Study is the first – take note of the plural, implying there will be more in the future.

"Market research program" is a glorified way of saying 'app that steals your data' or 'approved malware', but we're not sure those phrases would look good in a press release.

Not everyone can sign up to the system – Facebook is running ads for the program, and if you see one you can register with your information, after which Facebook will choose which applicants are eligible to download the app.

Image credit: Facebook

Image credit: Facebook

If you've got the app downloaded, Facebook will monitor which apps you have installed on your phone, how long you spend on each one, what you're doing in the apps, and where you're based.

Facebook hasn't announced any kind of compensation plan, so we don't know if you'll be raking in lots of money with Study, or if it'll just let you get an extra cup of coffee each month, and it's pretty important to know this so you can put a monetary value on your privacy.

The app is only available in the US and India currently, but we'd be very surprised if the company doesn't release it everyone else – personal data is personal data after all, and Facebook is hungry for as much as it can get.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.