They give them a ridiculously low amount in order to have access to everything they do.
Facebook is again questioned for its aggressive practice. Now it is known that he pays about $ 20 a month to users, mostly teenagers, for using an application that captures everything they do.
This application has features similar to Onavo Protect, another Facebook application that was removed last year due to Apple’s privacy concerns. The program has been operating since 2016 and in the middle of 2018 was named the “Project Atlas”.
How does it work and why is it so controversial? Instead of downloading it from the App Store, users should get it through three different beta testing services: BetaBound, uTest and Applause. These three services published advertisements on Instagram and Snapchat, intended for a group of 13 to 35 years, stating that it was a paid media study. Everything is very dark.
When registering on the application, minors ask for parental permission through the form and the company receives a warning. In fact, at TechCrunch, they saved what users are told when they download it (it works as a VPN):
“By installing software, you give our client permission to collect data from your phone, which will help them understand how you browse the Internet and how you use functions in the applications you have installed. This allows our client to collect information, such as what applications are on your phone, how and when you use them, data about your actions and content in these applications, as well as how other people interact with you or your content in these applications (…) that our client collects information about your online activity (including the websites you visit and the data your device and those websites exchange) and your use of other online services. In some cases, our client will collect this information, even if the application uses encryption or from a secure browser session. ”
The media also talked to Facebook, who acknowledged this and said that everything is in order:
“Like many companies, we invite people to take part in research that helps us determine what we can do better. Since this study is designed to help Facebook understand how people use their mobile devices, we provide extensive information about the type of data we collect and how they can participate. We do not share this information with other people, and people can stop participating at any time. "
And, given the history of Facebook, it is natural to question the purpose of all this and the responsibility for this data, especially when it comes to minors. Would you set a price for everything you do on your mobile phone?
Update: after the TechCrunch report, it seems that Facebook will close the program on iOS. However, it will still be relevant in Android.