See that the research program requires participants to install a business certificate to access their private messages, photos, videos, emails, web activities, and location information. That's why it costs them $ 20 a month on gift cards – Facebook wants these data to be exchanged. However, Apple only allows developers to use this certificate system to give employers the ability to install corporate applications on their employees' devices, so Facebook's application violates this policy.
Although the social network pulls the iOS application, it defended itself and said The Verge that the original report ignored the relevant parts of the project. It said the program was "no secret" because it was literally referred to as a Facebook research application.
Facebook's response in full:
"The main facts about this market research program are ignored. Despite the early reports, there was nothing" secret ", it was literally referred to as the" Facebook Research App. "It wasn't" spying "because all the people who signed up took part in the clear boarding process, asking for their permission and paid for their participation, and less than 5 percent of people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens.
The company emphasizes that it is not a spy for anyone because people have to register to participate. In addition, it said that most of the participants were adults, and only a minority of adolescents, all of whom had signed parental consent forms. However, the BBC technology reporter Dave Lee tested the sign-up process and reportedly was able to apply for the program as a minor without completing this form.
I think I'll see how stable parental control is for Facebook. In less than five minutes I was able to sign up as a 14-year-old boy … with two kids. It did not require evidence of parental consent. I just sent a link to download the iOS app. pic.twitter.com/z6www8SgQJ
– Dave Lee (@DaveLeeBBC) January 30, 2019
A program that has been reported to have been running since 2016 under Project Atlas is still available to Android users.