Research by Applause isn’t by Facebook

If you’re in any of Facebook Groups, chances are you might have come across referrals. Through referrals, I don’t mean the standard sign-up references. This new referral is fishy, and we think you should know more about it before signing up for anything. Here’s why.

Let me fast forward it to some months back; there was a similar less intense thing going on. It was known as Mobile Expression. Some of you might be knowing. This new company or whatever you call it as are providing you with 5$ to 75$ in your PayPal account in return for something. What’s that something? Perhaps your Data and Usage Activity, Internet Browsing.

They are named Applause Inc. But somehow they are misusing their identity by using their email as “FacebookResearch@applausemail.com” Getting an invite like this through a referral might cause you to wonder if it’s by Facebook. But it isn’t actually. The Irony is Facebook doesn’t even use Applause for achieving Digital Sucess like Slack, Google, Adidas, Uber Etc.

Research Enrollation ProcessĀ 

The Procedure is straightforward, anyone of your circle who is enrolled in the research would ask you for your Email ID. This Email ID should also be associated with PayPal for your Payments. Once done, you will get a confirmation mail from the company about the link. You have to download the app and enter the key provided by them. Once, installed, they install a CA Certificate and run a VPN continuously to monitor your data. This goes on for as long as you wish to earn. Every month, you would be paid 5$. The more friends you refer, the more you get paid. This is the main reason, why more and more people are signing up for greed.

They transfer your money each month into your PayPal Account through which it can get into your Bank Account.

How to Uninstall?

  1. First of all, remove the app as your Device administrator from the Settings, then Uninstall the app. The VPN should go off. If it doesn’t do it manually from Settings-Networks-VPN
  2. Go to Settings- Security- Credential Storage- User Credentials/ Trusted Credentials (Under User Part) and remove the Installed CA Certificate.
  3. Note: Do not mess up with the System CA Certificate. Uninstall the one in User CA Certificate.

What is Applause Inc?

Applause is “World’s Leading Crowdtesting Provider”. That’s what they say on the official site. Applause is connected with uTest. Now, uTest is nothing but a community of digital experts. In other words, if you have signed up for Applause, you might be becoming one of them. You can know more about them here.

So, what are they doing exactly? They want to mine User’s Data and perhaps sell to the company whoever they have made a deal with. By selling the data, they mean to sell the data for respective companies. These companies might use this collected data to make their products or services more appealing to the user and work better. They can use data to understand what users do on the Internet. And much more like how can the users be targeted to their products and services.

Why are User’s getting Paid?

They are paying because that is the only way to get required user data. No one would sign up for free. This isn’t new, but this research by Applause is gaining more and more popularity over Facebook. The thing is people who are signing up don’t even know what they are doing. They are blindly following the steps and allowing them to keep track of their online activities.

IS IT SAFE?

Even if you debate with the point saying they are the NO.1 in the US by some facts. I would say it’s better not to sign up for anything. Some might say that they aren’t stealing your credentials according to terms and conditions. But keep those TERMS AND CONDITIONS aside. We all know what Facebook did to us back then in the name of “At Facebook, we Respect your Privacy.”

Do keep in mind, they create a custom VPN which needs to run most of the times. They are even installing a CUSTOM CA CERTIFICATE into your phone. The can monitor each and every activity you do on the Internet.

Image Credit- Nimit

 

As a result, before signing up for the research, you should think. Are you fine to give away your internet activities statistics to a company? A company who might use it the way they wish, irrespective of T&C? If you are fine with sacrificing your data and privacy, for earning some dollars each month, you should do it. At your own risk.

TIP :

If you are doing it: before you do anything such as sensitive data transmissions like Bank Transfers or anything, Turn off the VPN during the same.