In a desperate bid to collect data on its competitors, it has been discovered that Facebook has been paying people to install a “Research VPN” that enables Facebook to record a particular user’s phone and web activity.
What Happened Exactly?
Blatantly violating Apple’s policies, Facebook has been paying people to download the Research app directly, by ditching the Apple store. The app then decrypts and analyzes their activities. Facebook has admitted to running the program called “Project Atlas” in order to garner data on usage habits.
This has been happening since 2016 and albeit following the exposure, Facebook has discontinued the Apple program, its Android app remains. The whole program is administered with the help of beta testing services, in order to cover up Facebook’s involvement.
The Biggest Concern!
Although, this stands to be a very ambitious program to map newest global developments and happenings, there is one major concern arising out of the whole situation i.e. Privacy!
A social network capable of blatant spying such as this and can continue that for years in its hunger for data could be capable of much more than that! Onavo Protect, anyone? Although, the users voluntarily let Facebook spy on them, in this case the threat is still there for the Facebook app users.
If you have installed Facebook’s app on your phone, you have granted it many permissions, including access to your photos and media files and identity related information.
What To Do?
While there may not be much to be done about this, you can subscribe to a VPN service such as Ivacy VPN to protect your browsing activities and safeguard your online presence from the prying eyes of Facebook.
However, what’s recommended is that you immediately uninstall Facebook’s app and if you still need Facebook, use it on the web browser.