According to a report from the TechCrunch, Facebook has been paying volunteers since three years to collect user data. The report says that Facebook asked users between 13 and 25 to install an application called Facebook Research on IOS or Android for monthly payment of US$ 20.
The application monitors phone as well as web activity and then sends the data back to Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s facebook has accepted the existence of such an application.
Previously Facebook was collecting user data from an application called Onavo Protect to identify upcoming competitors to replicate, acquire or clone them. In 2018, Facebook was forced to take off the application from the Apple’s App store due to violation of the store’s guidelines.
The Research application gives facebook the ability to read private messages, emails, web searches, and browsing activity. It can also take screenshots of past orders on Amazon.
(The Pigeon Express Opinion– These chilling privacy breaching tactics of facebook are not new. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal the company lost its charm.
Facebook started off with very good intentions, to connect people virtually. However with each passing day new data breach stories, privacy breaking antics wakes up new coffins everyday. It not only tarnishes the image of the company but also breaks the trust of its users.
However for this specific story on Facebook buying user activity, I hope that the users who took part in the program were aware of the kind of breach they’d go through before signing up.)