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Does Facebook pay users to install an application that can collect all kinds of data from their phones?

From the Sahels Roy Chudhury

Facebook pays people secret to install an application that allows the tech giant to collect data on how they use their smartphones, TechCrunch announced on Tuesday night.

Since 2016, the social networking giant has paid teens and adults up to $ 20 a month, plus fees for an installer to install the so-called. Facebook research on their Apple or Android phones, according to TechCrunch. To mask the direct involvement of Facebook, the program is said to be administered through beta testing services of Applause, BetaBund and UT, and is termed the "Atlas Project".

TechCrunch revealed that according to a security expert, the application allows Facebook to collect data, including private messages in applications, photos and videos on social media to send, email, web searches, and web browsing activities. It can also monitor current location information from other location tracking applications installed on the user's phone, according to the report.

A Facebook spokesman admitted on CNBC that the company is running a data collection program on usage habits.

"Like many other companies, we invite people to participate in research that helps us identify things that we can do better," the spokesman said. "Given that this research aims to help Facebook understand how people use their mobile devices, we have provided detailed information about the type of data we collect and how they can participate."

"We do not share this information with others and people can stop participating at any time," the spokesman added.

The move from Facebook could potentially be a violation of Apple's policy, as many users in the program are installing the iPhone application.

Apple did not respond immediately to the CNBC's request for comments, but a spokesman told TechCrunch that the company was aware of the issue.

Last year, Apple removed the Onavo security application from Facebook from the App Store because it did not comply with the privacy policies that the applications stated "should not collect information about which other applications are installed on the user's device."

Read more about the TechCrunch report on how Facebook pays users to install an app to collect data about them.

This article was first published by CNBC and published with permission .

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