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Facebook pays teenagers £15 to access all their messages, apps and searches

01 February 2019

The incident between Apple and Facebook is the latest twist in a nasty tech narrative that we highlighted in a cover story almost a year ago.

Unlike the Facebook Research app, which needed to be sideloaded onto Android devices, Screenwise Meter can be downloaded straight from the Google Play store, and the app description makes clear that it's for market research. While Facebook said late last night that it would shut down the iOS app, Apple is apparently not satisfied and revoked Facebook's developer licenses on Wednesday. Facebook added that less than 5 percent of the users who participated in the research were teens, who signed parental consent forms.

According to the website's investigation, by installing the iOS or Android "Facebook Research" app, users were basically selling their privacy.

First revealed by TechCrunch Tuesday, the report indicated how the social media company secretly used Apple's Enterprise Developer Program to pay teens $20 per month to use its Facebook Research app. "We're working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon".

Google, like Facebook, may have violated Apple's policies with an app that collects user data.

Those permissions can be obtained by being a part of Apple's Enterprise Developer Program, allowing companies to develop iOS apps for internal use without going through the App Store approval process. Whereas in fact Apple revoked its certificate due to breaking the terms of the program, and so Facebook had no choice but to end it. "We don't share this information with others and people can stop participating at any time", clarified the spokesperson of Facebook in an email to CNBC. By agreeing to have data collected on the apps on their devices as well as their web history, users were given digital gift cards worth $20.

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Although the primary goal of a VPN is to protect one's internet activity, TechCrunch discovered that Facebook's app was able to decrypt and analyze users' phone activity.

"I have concerns that users were not appropriately informed about the extent of Facebook's data-gathering and the commercial purposes of this data collection", Sen. The app was previously kicked out of the official App Store for breaking Apple's rules on privacy: Facebook had to use the cert to skirt Cupertino's ban.

Beta testing services BetaBound, uTest and Applause helped distribute the app and don't initially mention on the sign-up pages for the social media study that they're letting Facebook access participants' data.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently penned a 1,000 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal jumping to the defense of his company's business practices. The statement doesn't say exactly why the company is experiencing disruption, but it seems pretty clear what the cause is. But it is still in mystery what kind of data Facebook is looking. In this case, Apple determined that Facebook's app went against the rules.

Facebook distributed the app to consumers through Apple's "Enterprise Developer Program".

Facebook pays teenagers £15 to access all their messages, apps and searches