Facebook has been paying teens $20 a month for total access to their phone activity

Facebook is running a program that collects intimate user data from paid volunteers over the past three years, TechCrunch says that in exchange for installing an app called Facebook Research on iOS or Android, It reported that it paid $ 20 for people aged 13 to 25. This app monitors your phone and web activity and then back to Facebook. The company has confirmed the existence of a research program at TechCrunch .

Facebook collected some of this data via Onavo Protect, a VPN service that was previously acquired in 2013. Facebook's data has proven to be of great value in identifying promising competitors and acquiring or replicating them. Last summer, complaining that Apple violated the App Store's data collection guidelines, Facebook removed apps from the App Store.

The Research app requires you to install a custom root certificate that gives users the ability to view their private messages, email, web search, and search activity. It also requires users to take screenshots of Amazon orders and send them back to Facebook.

Facebook did not immediately respond to the comment request.

This program appears to violate Apple's policy for developers to grant root access to iPhone using an enterprise certificate. Certificates that allow employers to access employees' work devices are prohibited from being installed on customer telephones. TechCrunch said a Facebook spokesperson could not explain how this program did not violate Apple's policies.

Facebook took steps to hide project participation until just before installing the app. TechCrunch reported. Beta Test Services Applaud, BetaBound and uTest provide services related to research programs.

Facebook began releasing the Research VPN app in 2016. Backpackers Onavo Protect Zoom and Apple have set new rules to ban Onavo. Because Facebook does not want to stop collecting data on people's phone usage, Apple ignored the ban on Onavo Protect and continued its research program.

Advertising for programs run by Instagram and Snapchat's uTest (shown below) for a "paid social media research study" at age 17. The Facebook Research subscription page managed by Applause does not mention Facebook, but the user says "Age: 13-35 years (parental consent is required for ages 13-17)."

If we believe that we violate our policies, we will not be able to use corporate certificates, which can heighten tensions between companies. In the meantime, we explained that Facebook earned $ 20 a month, messing up the most intimate details of our lives.

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