If you are thinking that Facebook is sitting quietly after being forced to remove its Onavo VPN app from Apple’s App Store, then you are mistaken.It turns out that Facebook is paying teenagers around $20 a month to use its VPN app that aggressively monitors their smartphone and web activity and then sends it back to Facebook.The social media giant was previously caught collecting some of this data through Onavo Protect, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that it acquired in 2013.
However, the company was forced to pull the app from the App Store in August 2018 after Apple found that Facebook was using the VPN service to track its user activity and data across multiple apps, which clearly violates its App Store guidelines on data collection.Onavo Protect became a data collection tool for Facebook helping the company track smartphone users’ activities across multiple different apps to learn insights about how Facebook users use third-party apps.Facebook’s Paid Market Research
Now according to a report published by TechCrunch, Facebook has been doing much more than just collecting some data on its users—this time in the name of an app called “Facebook Research” for iOS and Android since at least 2016.In some documentation, this program has been referred to as “Project Atlas.” Facebook has also confirmed the existence of the app to the publication.The report said the company has been paying people aged between 13 and 35 as much as $20 per month along with referral fees in exchange for installing Facebook Research on their iPhone or Android devices, saying it’s a “paid social media research study.”Instead of downloading the app via any app store, Facebook has been using third-party beta testing services—Applause, BetaBound and uTest—that specifically runs ads on Instagram and Snapchat recruiting participants to install Facebook …

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