Facebook Admits 18% of Research Spyware Users Were Teens -- Not Less Than 5% It Claimed Earlier This Year
Friday March 1, 2019. 09:51 PM , from Slashdot
Josh Constine, writing for TechCrunch: Facebook has changed its story after initially trying to downplay how it targeted teens with its Research program that a TechCrunch investigation revealed was paying them gift cards to monitor all their mobile app usage and browser traffic. 'Less than 5 percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens,' a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch and many other news outlets in a damage control effort 7 hours after we published our report on January 29th. At the time, Facebook claimed that it had removed its Research app from iOS. The next morning we learned that wasn't true, as Apple had already forcibly blocked the Facebook Research app for violating its Enterprise Certificate program that supposed to reserved for companies distributing internal apps to employees.
It turns out that wasn't the only time Facebook deceived the public in its response regarding the Research VPN scandal. TechCrunch has obtained Facebook's unpublished February 21st response to questions about the Research program in a letter from Senator Mark Warner. In the response from Facebook's VP of US public policy Kevin Martin, the company admits that 'At the time we ended the Facebook Research App on Apple's iOS platform, less than 5 percent of the people sharing data with us through this program were teens. Analysis shows that number is about 18 percent when you look at the complete lifetime of the program, and also add people who had become inactive and uninstalled the app.'
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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