In recent days, Facebook has been caught secretly paying $20 per month to teens in order to access their data. By connecting through the “Facebook Research” VPN, Facebook was given access to all user data, network traffic and root access to the devices. The age group of the users went from 13-35 years old. The users were also told to screenshot their Amazon history as well.
The iOS version of the app has been removed due to the violation of Apple’s agreement.
“We designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization. Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple. Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked, which is what we did in this case to protect our users and their data.” – Apple
While the research program directly violates Apple’s agreement, Facebook has said that there weren’t any spying or anything secret about it.
“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 5 percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens. All of them with signed parental consent forms.” – Facebook
Even though users gave the rights away, which would allow all access to the devices, accounts, does this make it ethical? Even though teens had their concent from parents, is this right?