Facebook released an app which monitors everything the user does on the phone. Everything from kids’ SMS text messages, to private emails, to purchase histories, to app usage.
TechCrunch reported the app, which has been available since 2016, offers users up to $20 a month for installing it. Dubbed “Facebook Research” app, it records a user’s phone and web activity. The app is limited to 13 and 35 year olds.
Facebook came out and said it would remove the Apple version, though they have not mentioned anything regarding the Android version.
There’s been a lot of privacy backlash due to Facebook’s most recent privacy controversies. This is why we have an article on how to create anonymous Facebook accounts.
We would think long and hard before we give Facebook our private information. Many privacy minded folks have claimed that by utilizing MobileSMS.io’s temporary phone numbers they are able to sign up to any website without having to use their own phone number. This way they have another layer of protection of their online privacy.
Please make sure to review the terms of service for any website or app that you use. Make sure whatever you do, isn’t violating their terms of service.
My own opinion is that Facebook’s massive desire to track us online is mostly driven by fear another competitor will overtake them. By spying on what people do on their phones, it can tell Facebook when a new service/app starts becoming popular with teens.
For example, after noticing Snapchat’s early momentum and unsuccessfully attempting to buy the rival social network, Facebook copied some of its core features. But the extent to which Facebook appears to be willing to go to monitor teens’ digital lives seems bound to provoke yet another privacy backlash.