Facebook’s now-banned research app collected data from thousands.

Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

The number of users impacted by Facebook’s invasive research app, which paid users $20 to give the social media site access to how they use their phones, is now known. The app, which Apple blocked Facebook from offering to iPhone users in January, collected sensitive device data on about 187,000 users, according to report Thursday from TechCrunch.

In a letter to Sen. Richard Blumenthal, obtained by TechCrunch, Facebook reportedly said it had collected data on 31,000 users in the US, 4,300 of which were teenagers. The rest of the data came from users in India.

On Tuesday, Facebook a new research app called Study from Facebook. It’s only available on Android for users of 18 years of age in the US and India. Facebook says the app will analyze what apps are on the user’s phone, how much time you spend on them, your country, and device and network type. Users who sign up still get paid for sharing their information and can leave at any time.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond for comment.

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Correction, June 13 at 9:43 a.m. PT: An earlier version of this misstated how Facebook distributed its research app. The app was offered to consumers outside of Apple App Store by going through a program intended for companies to create apps for their employees to use and test.


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