Facebook Paid People to Gather Data on Usage Habits
In its zeal to learn more about its consumers, Facebook covertly paid volunteers to install a “Facebook Research” app on their phones to monitor their usage, according to a bombshell report in TechCrunch. Facebook didn’t respond to a USA TODAY petition for comment but did affirm it to TechCrunch. The social network pays users up to $20 a month referral fees.
Security expert Will Strafach advised TechCrunch the app gives Facebook “the ability to continuously collect the following types of data: private messages in social networking apps, chats from in instant messaging programs — including photos/videos delivered to others, emails, web searches, web browsing activity, as well as ongoing location information by tapping to the feeds of any location-tracking programs you might have installed.”
TechCrunch states Facebook gets access once the app is installed.
The key part of this story isn’t that Facebook was just paying anyone $20 a month for access to their phone data, they were specifically targeting teens, who may not have been aware of what they were downloading. https://t.co/2Vw9YXwwGt
— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) January 30, 2019
BGR notes that “the other troubling thing here is the adolescents and adults involved in this study may not have been fully aware of what they have been giving up, by way of providing Facebook extremely broad accessibility to their data.”
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