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Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them


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#1 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 12:30 PM

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Desperate for data on its competitors, Facebook has been secretly paying people to install a “Facebook Research” VPN that lets the company suck in all of a user’s phone and web activity, similar to Facebook’s Onavo Protect app that Apple banned in June and that was removed in August. Facebook sidesteps the App Store and rewards teenagers and adults to download the Research app and give it root access to network traffic in what may be a violation of Apple policy so the social network can decrypt and analyze their phone activity, a TechCrunch investigation confirms.

Facebook admitted to TechCrunch it was running the Research program to gather data on usage habits.

Since 2016, Facebook has been paying users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 per month plus referral fees to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android “Facebook Research” app. Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history page. The program is administered through beta testing services Applause, BetaBound and uTest to cloak Facebook’s involvement, and is referred to in some documentation as “Project Atlas” — a fitting name for Facebook’s effort to map new trends and rivals around the globe.

After this story was published, Facebook later told TechCrunch it will shut down the iOS version of its Research app in the wake of our report.

On Wednesday, an Apple spokesperson confirmed that Facebook violated its policies.

“We designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization,” said a spokesperson. “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.”
Facebook’s Research program will continue to run on Android...............

https://techcrunch.c...-project-atlas/
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#2 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 03:41 PM

Facebook claims that a parent has to okay this for a 13 to 17 year-old, but I find that rather ridiculous--just how does Facebook confirm parental consent?

#3 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 07:32 PM

View Postebrke, on 30 January 2019 - 03:41 PM, said:

Facebook claims that a parent has to okay this for a 13 to 17 year-old, but I find that rather ridiculous--just how does Facebook confirm parental consent?

Right... They only say that because of COPPA. That doesn't mean that they are following the law. We know this from previous news...
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#4 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 07:16 AM

Once again, no surprises here. :(
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#5 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 09:10 AM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 31 January 2019 - 07:16 AM, said:

Once again, no surprises here. :(

Sad but very true. When will people wake up?
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984




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