Facebook Paid Teens to Test Even More Invasive Apps

AlphaAtlas

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TechCrunch just posted a report claiming that Facebook paid teens to install a "VPN that spies on them" on Android and iOS devices. More specifically, the social media company has allegedly been paying users between the ages of 12 and 35 "up to $20 per month plus referral fees" to download the "Facebook Research" app, which can reportedly monitor almost every part of the phone. Among other things, the app apparently asked users to take screenshots of their Amazon orders page, and a security researcher from TechCrunch said it had the ability to collect "private messages in social media apps, chats from in instant messaging apps - including photos/videos sent to others, emails, web searches, web browsing activity, and even ongoing location information by tapping into the feeds of any location tracking apps you may have installed."

Apple banned the Onavo data collection app from the iOS App Store for violating their data collection policies last year, so Facebook allegedly had to sideload "Project Atlas" to circumvent Apple's restrictions. In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple said "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," and true to their word, have subsequently yanked Facebook's permission to sideload apps on iOS devices. Experts say this could interfere with Facebook's own internal R&D efforts, though unsurprisingly, "Project Atlas" will continue to run on Android. Additionally, many other publications are following TechCrunch down Facebook's latest rabbit hole today. The BBC, for example, claims it was able to sign up for the service and download the app without any parental consent, even though the BBC identified itself as a 14-year-old boy during its test, while a BuzzFeed reporter managed to get a parental consent email that didn't mention Facebook by name. When asked how parental consent was obtained, Facebook "said it was handled by a third party and did not elaborate."

"The fairly technical sounding 'install our Root Certificate' step is appalling," Strafach tells us. "This hands Facebook continuous access to the most sensitive data about you, and most users are going to be unable to reasonably consent to this regardless of any agreement they sign, because there is no good way to articulate just how much power is handed to Facebook when you do this... "It is tricky to know what data Facebook is actually saving (without access to their servers). The only information that is knowable here is what access Facebook is capable of based on the code in the app. And it paints a very worrisome picture," Strafach explains. "They might respond and claim to only actually retain/save very specific limited data, and that could be true, it really boils down to how much you trust Facebook's word on it. The most charitable narrative of this situation would be that Facebook did not think too hard about the level of access they were granting to themselves . . . which is a startling level of carelessness in itself if that is the case."

Facebook did respond after TechCrunch's article went live, but they didn't outright deny the claims



And no, I'm not happy about the project's codename either :(
 

Hatriot

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So funny how people were swooning over this world changing "technology" and it has done nothing but accentuate the worse in humanity from all sides. There will be a day when generations look back at this era as a warning.
 

Brokennails

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So funny how people were swooning over this world changing "technology" and it has done nothing but accentuate the worse in humanity from all sides. There will be a day when generations look back at this era as a warning.

Like when the world ends and we are scrounging to live? Otherwise I doubt it.
 

alxlwson

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This was a program through Betabound as well. I got invited to it sometime last year but I don't have FB. It is called Project Atlas and still ongoing.

Screenshot_20190130-121945_Chrome.jpg
 

AlphaAtlas

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This was a program through Betabound as well. I got invited to it sometime last year but I don't have FB. It is called Project Atlas and still ongoing.
IIRC the full report mentioned Betabound as well.

I bet this app sucks power on Android like there's no tomorrow, to the point where it'll probably shorten a phone battery's useful lifespan.
 

alxlwson

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IIRC the full report mentioned Betabound as well.

I bet this app sucks power on Android like there's no tomorrow, to the point where it'll probably shorten a phone battery's useful lifespan.

I didn't read it lol.
I do find it rather disgusting for people to sign their kids up for it for extra monies.
 
Joined
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I didn't read it lol.
I do find it rather disgusting for people to sign their kids up for it for extra monies.
I thought the point in having children was to be able to exploit them as much as possible?
Should install this on a device that's just devoted to just "adult oriented" web surfing.
Well then you could show them that "fisting is too mainstream for you" :ROFLMAO:
 

Dead Parrot

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Facebook needs to be shut down, all their servers confiscated, and their executives arrested.
Not arrested. Forced to be subject to the same level of monitoring that this app carried out. All data posted on a freely available website. For the next 5 years.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Teenagers are stupid.

Got to have that $20 per month to support their Juul habit, I guess.
 

steakman1971

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I wonder what the legality is for someone under 18? I know FB will admit know wrong...
It's amazing what people will do for a few bucks. 2 years ago, someone on my team accepted a "$2" Amazon credit for filling out a survey. The idiot typed in his username and password to Amazon - believe it or not, he never got the $2 and had problems with his Amazon account shortly afterwards...
 

Exavior

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Odd choice for an age range. Sadly I am not surprised that people are willing to accept this or that facebook is doing this.

I wonder what the legality is for someone under 18? I know FB will admit know wrong...
It's amazing what people will do for a few bucks. 2 years ago, someone on my team accepted a "$2" Amazon credit for filling out a survey. The idiot typed in his username and password to Amazon - believe it or not, he never got the $2 and had problems with his Amazon account shortly afterwards...
If they are supposedly getting parent permission (at times) that part might be fully legal in some countries.
 

RoxieToast

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Teenagers are stupid.

Got to have that $20 per month to support their Juul habit, I guess.
Well if mom understood how hard my life is without it maybe I wouldn't have to sell out to corporations! Now I have money to smoke and I don't even have to post on social media because the app shares everything anyway! *dabs*
 

Smashing Young Man

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"The testing area's just up ahead. The quicker you get through, the quicker you'll get your sixty bucks."

"If you're interested in an additional sixty dollars, flag down a test associate and let 'em know. You could walk out of here with a hundred and twenty weighing down your bindle if you let us take you apart, put some science stuff in you, then put you back together good as new."

"In case you're interested, there's still some positions available for that bonus opportunity I mentioned earlier. Again: all you gotta do is let us disassemble you. We're not banging rocks together here. We know how to put a man back together."

"So that's a complete reassembly. New vitals. Spit-shine on the old ones. Plus we're scooping out tumors. Frankly, you oughta be paying us."
 

SomeoneElse

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Odd choice for an age range. Sadly I am not surprised that people are willing to accept this or that facebook is doing this.

If you look at it that range is probably the most susceptible to influence. They probably want to gain data for future use to influence their behaviors. Looks like a way for future indoctrination.
 

kju1

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"The testing area's just up ahead. The quicker you get through, the quicker you'll get your sixty bucks."

"If you're interested in an additional sixty dollars, flag down a test associate and let 'em know. You could walk out of here with a hundred and twenty weighing down your bindle if you let us take you apart, put some science stuff in you, then put you back together good as new."

"In case you're interested, there's still some positions available for that bonus opportunity I mentioned earlier. Again: all you gotta do is let us disassemble you. We're not banging rocks together here. We know how to put a man back together."

"So that's a complete reassembly. New vitals. Spit-shine on the old ones. Plus we're scooping out tumors. Frankly, you oughta be paying us."
Hell Id sign up for that. Could use a few new parts.
 
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