Will You Let Facebook Monitor Your Phone For Money? | Clozette

Social media scandals and privacy breaches have been on the rise recently. Celebrities and public personalities are not the only ones falling victim to such incidents; regular internet users become prey to identity theft and online scams almost on the daily. Not to mention that with every technological advancement developed and introduced for our usage, external entities get more and more access to our personal information — including biometrics — with our full consent (without us knowing it).

The major player

Facebook, being one of the major tech companies that gather user data, has often been the subject of speculation and criticism when it comes to privacy. If you'd remember, the social platform created by Mark Zuckerberg caused outrage among the public in 2018 when it was exposed for sharing its users' data with other tech firms like Amazon, Spotify, Microsoft and many more. And while they did defend their actions by saying that, technically, it is up to the users to 'allow permission' to these third parties to gain some access to their profiles, their vague policies and non-restrictive approach to this privilege were also called out by many as being partially at fault. 

Then, earlier this year, they were forced to shut down their Research and Onavo programs after being exposed once again, but this time for secretly paying teenagers to gain root access to their phones for 'market research'. This is in line with a similar program Apple ran in June 2018 and was shut down in August of the same year, in which the company running the program can get all of the traffic, activity, and access from their research subject's smartphone. 

Will You Let Facebook Monitor Your Phone For Money? - Facebook, the major player

Now, it all seems fair considering that they are paying these participants and in with consent. After all, almost every experiment of different degrees has resulted in similar measures. It was also said that while the program gains access to the user's phone activity, they do not store passwords or other account histories, nor would these be sold to third-parties.

However, the major criticism of this past program is that Facebook was neither transparent of the payment the users were receiving nor its existence prior to it being exposed. It was also not made clear whether the people the paid subjects interact with online are safe from getting their own information looped into the data-gathering research. 

Where does Study by Facebook come in? 

After a couple of months of their program being shut down, Facebook now bounces back with a more 'transparent' solution: Study by Facebook. According to their website, this program will "help [them] learn which apps people value and how they're used," and the data gathered will be used to improve all existing products under the Facebook company. Facebook's product manager Sagee Ben-Zedeff's statement on their blog said that they are "offering transparency, compensating all participants, and keeping people’s information safe and secure".

Will You Let Facebook Monitor Your Phone For Money? - Study by Facebook getting started

(Photo from: newsroom.fb.com)

An ad is said to be rolled out to the users, prompting the need for participants. The users will then be asked to fill in a questionnaire and if qualified, be asked to download the Study by Facebook app that's both available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Compensation, customer support, and other details about the market research program will then be disclosed afterwards. 

If you're wondering, the data that will be gathered is as follows: all the app installed on your phone; the amount of time spent in each of those apps; the participant's location, country, device type and network connection; each app's activities and features and how it's being used by the participant. Facebook reiterates that content such as photos, messages, and videos, as well as account passwords and emails,  will not be stored throughout the duration of the program, nor will they be used to target ads or be used to suggest similar apps or programs to the user. 

Will You Let Facebook Monitor Your Phone For Money? - Study by Facebook policies and privacy terms

Photo from: newsroom.fb.com

At the moment, the program is only available in the U.S. and India, but is said to roll out soon to other countries over time. 

Will you and should you allow Facebook to monitor your phone activity for money?

Being paid by merely using your phone sounds like a dream. After all, with society's current dependence on our smartphones, as well as social media, it would definitely feel like a breeze. But with Facebook's current track record of being the melting pot of fraud, fake news, false identities, and even gruesome activity reaching virality without being monitored or put down until it's too late, spare bills of a tech magnate going to our bank account doesn't seem like it's worth the risk at all.

Will You Let Facebook Monitor Your Phone For Money? - Conclusion

Not to mention that Facebook already has multiple ways to track our current activity via their owned platforms through cookies and pixels. This is why they are able to be eerily accurate when targetting us with ads. Having access to a device that is quite literally an extension of our identities can only result in something possibly disastrous. Plus, who needs such excessive information anyway?

And while it is the user's responsibility to know and deal with the consequences of consenting to such a program, it is worth noting that such a mishap would not make the odds even for both parties. At the end of the day, personal information leaked will make individuals suffer significantly more than a billion-dollar moneymaking enterprise. 

Protect yourself online with these tips



There's a rise in music festivals on our side of the world — think Ultra Music Festival and We The Fest — but we’re not complaining. If you're contemplating your next festival ensemble, then why not borrow some inspiration from the Clozette Community?

Cheeky Tube Top

Festive Outfits

(Photo from: shinepascual)

Summer Cropped Top

Festive Outfits

(Photo from: Leannelow)



Move over, hair clips and bedazzled barrettes — another ‘90s hair trend is making its comeback this year: the scrunchies. That’s right. Your go-to childhood accessory is taking over Instagram, bigger and better than ever. Surprisingly, this new wave of colourful cloudlike hair accessories didn’t come from the more popular fashion brands that instantly draw hype. Instead, it all started with a humble store called Room Shop Vintage based in Philadelphia. Aside from selling vintage pieces, the shop creates sustainable products like these oversized hair ties made from recycled fabrics. Luckily for us, Room Shop Vintage ships internationally, so we in Asia can get our hands on their products, too. If not, DIY-ing is an option if you’re into crafts

Want to ride on this nostalgic giant scrunchie trend? You won’t go wrong with these vintage chic styles.

A classic tail

You can never go wrong with wearing a basic ponytail. Wherever you go, and no matter the occasion, this look would perfectly give your outfit some girly sophistication. Not to mention, having your hair up gives quite the relief from the heat.

Roll it in a bun

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Want to inject a little elegance to your evening out? If you think the giant scrunchie trend can be too overwhelming, try using it to tie your hair in a bun for an understated look. Pair it with a simple monochromatic dress so your hair becomes the star of your ensemble.

Braid it up

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Don’t think that the giant scrunchie trend is good enough in a simple style, however. Try to experiment at times, too. For days when you’re feeling a bit fancier, have fun and try braiding your hair a dozen ways to mix things up. 

Bubbly ‘do

If you’re not a braids person but want to switch up your usual ponytail anyway, opt to wear your locks in a Bubble ponytail instead. It’s fancier yet easier, as you just have to tie another elastic every few inches to create a new section. No need to tug your strands in between for volume, because the giant scrunchies give it that already. 

Cut it in half

Have short hair? Don’t worry — you can still work the giant scrunchie trend. Separate the upper half portion of your hair and tie it in a knot at the back. The oversized hair tie makes for a completely whimsical look.

Colour code

So as to not make your statement hair accessory clash with your whole outfit, opt to coordinate the colours of your ensemble. Keep it a bit more minimalist by wearing exactly the same muted shade, or at least choose within the same colour family.

Hand it over

There are times when our scalp feels tired and suffocated from having our tresses pulled in a tie. But at the same time, we also want to keep our hair tied to feel fresh all day long. For those days, the best option is to keep our hair ties accessible when we absolutely need them. What’s great about these supersized scrunchies is that they make good accessories for our wrist as well. Talk about multi-tasking and eye-catching! 

(Cover photo from: @roomshopvintage)

Next, care for your hair with these hair masks.