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Home / Technology / Facebook will pay Teens $ 20 / month for installing the VPN app for data collection on iPhones

Facebook will pay Teens $ 20 / month for installing the VPN app for data collection on iPhones



Apple forced Facebook to remove its Onavo VPN app from the App Store in August 2018, as Facebook tracked the activity and data of users in multiple apps. This violates Apple's Apple App Store .

As it turns out, Facebook has found a devious way to get around Apple's rules and get people to continue to install the VPN – and pay for it.



TechCrunch This afternoon, Facebook's "Project Atlas" program was unveiled, in which Facebook paid people – adults and teenagers ̵

1; to install a "Facebook Research" VPP, which the Onavo VPN App is similar.

Since 2016, Facebook is offering people between the ages of 13 and 35 up to $ 20 a month and Referral Fees to download the Facebook Research app to their iPhone using a company certificate. Enterprise certificates such as this are designed to allow organizations to deploy internal enterprise applications and provide full root access to a device.

To hide its involvement, Facebook has used beta testing services such as Applause, BetaBound, and uTest to attract subscribers to the Facebook Research installation.

By allowing users to load an app through a company certificate in this way, Facebook has access to data that includes private messages in social media apps, instant messaging apps (including photos and videos), emails , Web browsing and web browsing activity and current location information. It is not clear whether Facebook accesses this data, but it could consult so the security researcher Will Strafach, who TechCrunch for this piece.

Our step for the root certificate is frightening, "says Strafach," which allows Facebook uninterrupted access to the most sensitive data about you, and most users will not be able to agree, regardless of the agreement they've signed There is no good way to describe how much power is transferred to Facebook when you do this. "

The Terms of Use for the Facebook Research app suggest that Facebook provide information about the smartphone apps on a participant's phone and how and when these apps are used." Facebook also said that there are data on activities and content within the company There's even a line indicating that Facebook is collecting data, even if an app uses encryption or out of a secure browser session.

Facebook confirmed the program in a statement provided by TechCrunch and reported that the Facebook Research app was "in line with Apple's Enterprise Certificate program," though this was obviously not up Apple's case applies to corporate certificate policy.

"Like many companies, we invite people to participate in research that helps us identify things that we can do better, because this research is designed to help Facebook understand how people use their mobile devices We provided them with comprehensive information about the type of data we collect and how they can participate, this information will not be disclosed to third parties, and participation may be discontinued at any time. "

Apple was made aware of the problem, However, it declined to comment on TechCrunch . It is not clear how the company Cupertino will deal with the situation, but as TechCrunch points out, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been extremely critical of Facebook and its privacy breaches. Apple may be able to block the Facebook Research app or revoke Facebook's permission to fully distribute internal apps.

For detailed information on Facebook's spy app, see TechCrunch synopsis.


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