Facebook Research App Paid Teens $20 to Spy On Their Browsing History

Facebook Research App Paid Teens $20 to Spy On Their Browsing History


It found that Facebook has been using the research program for some time to "gather data on usage habits".

Over the past several months, Facebook has been embroiled in a myriad of scandals related to data breach and faced accusations of selling user data, which the company itself has denied.

It's still unclear whether Apple will revoke Google's enterprise certificates.

As per its App Store guidelines, collecting information from other apps installed on a user's a device is something that is a clear no-no with Apple, and one can expect that Apple is set to butt heads with Facebook again.

Facebook also said that the program was not built to replace Onavo, arguing that it started in 2016, while Onavo was only removed from Apple's App Store in 2018.

He called "muddying the waters" any attempt by Facebook to claim that users who installed the apps understood the unrestrained scope of the data collection. Instead, he said Facebook was scooping up all incoming and outgoing data traffic from unwitting members of the public - in an app geared toward teenagers. But like Facebook's app, Google's Screenwise Meter could be downloaded outside of the App Store, via a Google download link.

A Facebook spokesperson told CBS News, "Key facts about this market research program are being ignored".

Less than a day after Facebook got busted paying users, including teens, $20 (£15.25) a month in gift cards to use its Research App that collected troves of users' personal data, a new TechCrunch report revealed that Google is guilty of a similar practice. In my opinion, this absence of informed consent makes the Facebook Research app especially troubling.

"We designed our Enterprise Developer Program exclusively for the internal distribution of apps within an organization", Apple said in a statement shared with Variety.

Apple responded by yanking some technical permissions for Facebook that have cause some chaos internally at the social networking company, and the whole thing seems to be continuing to escalate.

Apple escalated its simmering conflict with Facebook Wednesday, revoking access to its enterprise developer certification program and in turn preventing Facebook employees from running company-internal apps on their iPhones.

Addressing the issue of consent, Strafach acknowledged that Facebook said users were provided with "extensive information about the type of data we collect and how they can participate", but argued that "they do not inform users of the massive amount of access you hand them when hitting "Trust" on their root certificate".

Facebook paid users, including teens, to track their smartphone activity as part of an effort to glean more data that could help the social network's competition efforts, according to a new report that may raise fresh privacy concerns. Apple blasted Facebook for its actions.

Facebook hasn't said what will become of the Android version of the program, referred to publicly as "Project Atlas". This type of data gathering can not be done using an App Store app. In contrast to the Facebook Research app, Google said its Screenwise Meter app never asked users to let the company circumvent network encryption, meaning it is far less intrusive. They have no clear or easy solution to fall back on either.

  • Terrell Bush