Social networking giant Facebook has said that its controversial research app will no longer be available on iOS. The market research program had violated the Apple developer guidelines so as to harvest user data from the phones of volunteers.
Facebook said, “Key facts about this market research program are being ignored […] Despite early reports, there was nothing ‘secret’ about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research App. It wasn’t ‘spying’ as all of the people who signed up to participate went through a clear on-boarding process asking for their permission and were paid to participate. Finally, less than five percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens. All of them with signed parental consent forms.” The social network also denied that the Facebook Research was intended to replace Onavo.
Apart from this, no reason has been given for why the app is being removed from the iOS which itself seems odd due to the Facebook’s defense of it. Moreover, the app will continue to be available on Android. The social network has had a tumultuous 2018 as it faced a privacy scandal and now it has been reported that the company has been paying people to install a VPN so they can have almost unfettered access to their activities.
A leading daily has said that the social network has been paying up to $20 per month to the users who install a Facebook Research App on Android and iOS. It was the Project Atlas initiative that has been active 2016 and targets users aged between 13 and 35. The terms of the app had revealed that it collects the activities of the app and data along with i8nternet browsing history and data from encrypted apps. Moreover, a representative for security app Guardian Mobile Firewall told the outlet that Facebook could also collect private messages in social media apps.
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