According to a report, Facebook has been collecting users’ personal data for 3 years: nothing surprising is it? In reality the matter is much worse, in fact the company is paying users aged between 13 and 25 in exchange for the installation of an application called Facebook Research, both on Android and iOS: its sole purpose is to monitor and collect data generated by every single activity performed on your smartphone by users who are voluntarily participating in the program. The price of this huge invasion of privacy appears to be only $20 a month.
The application installs a certificate that allows it to acquire root permissions, then Facebook Research will start collecting data on private messages, web searches, emails and even screenshots of Amazon’s order history. Obviously it sends everything systematically to the Facebook servers.
On iOS, the application violates the policies for developers that prevent these behaviors, since this kind of certificates are intended for development and not for espionage, TechCrunch then questioned the company, but its spokesman did nothing but reiterate that no agreement is violated, even if it has not been able to explain how what it says can be true.
Before using Facebook Research, the company used the Onavo Protect application, which offers a VPN service, which however was banned from the apps store of iOS, but still remains available on the Android Play Store. Even Facebook Research uses a VPN for its own purposes and has done so since 2016.