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Facebook paid teenage users to install a VPN that spies on them

2019-01-30 14:44 by
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Facebook, which critics say isn't doing enough to protect the privacy of its users, has been giving people between the ages of 13 and 35 a payment of $20 per month plus referral fees for their phone and web activity. Facebook is able to access this data after users install a "Facebook Research" VPN app.

The VPN app, also referred to as "Project Atlas" in company documentation, provides absolute access to a device's network data. Every packet sent is captured for later analysis, allowing Facebook to glean information on user habits, as well as to see how its competitors are faring. According to Guardian Mobile Firewall security expert Will Stafach, this includes private messages and chats from apps, internet searches, emails, web browsing activity, and even location data, all of which was sent back to Facebook.

Here's what the company said on the matter:

"Like many companies, we invite people to participate in research that helps us identify things we can be doing better. Since this research is aimed at helping Facebook understand how people use their mobile devices, we've provided extensive information about the type of data we collect and how they can participate. We don't share this information with others and people can stop participating at any time."

Meanwhile, Facebook is shutting down the Facebook Research app for Apple iOS users since the app violated Apple's policies. The program will continue on Android, however.

Read more -here-


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