Facebook’s covert program taps into smartphones to track user habits

Facebook’s covert program taps into smartphones to track user habits

Facebook was caught secretly paying people for collecting data on them. According to a TechCrunch report, the tech giant was collecting data via a Facebook research app on how people used their smartphones. This program referred to as “Project Atlas” paid the users in return of the data.

The company has been paying users from the age of 13 to 35 to tap the phone and web activity on their phones since 2016. They get paid up to $20 per month and also get additional referral fees to install the Facebook research app on their phone.

To mask the program it is administered through beta testing services Applause, BetaBound and uTest. Also, there is very little trace of Facebook’s involvement in the app. The report said that if the tech giant utilizes the access of the research app fully they can look into private messages, chats and photos of the user.

A CNBC report confirmed that Facebook is collecting private data using the Facebook research app. “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,” the spokesperson said.

This new case of data privacy violation can have serious repercussions on Facebook. The social networking giant is already embroiled in a data privacy breach allegation. Recent reports suggest that the company will have to pay a hefty fine for the breach.

Image via Shutterstock

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