Facebook has paid users, including teenagers, to monitor the activity of their smartphones under their plans to obtain data to assist them in their competitive efforts, according to a report that could raise new concerns about privacy on the network.
An investigation by the online news site TechCrunch said the initiative, initially known as the Onavo Project and later renamed Facebook Search, was used to collect data on user habits.
The news may pose an additional problem for Facebook, which is under public scrutiny for not taking forceful measures against manipulating its platform and for sharing private data with its partners.
Following the release of TechCrunch information, Facebook said on Wednesday that it closed the application on Apple's iOS operating system, but made no clear whether it was still active for Android users.
The program paid users from 13 to 35 years old up to $ 20 (13,300 Chilean pesos) per month to gain root access to their devices. Monitor your location, application usage, consumption habits, and other activities.
In a statement sent to the AFP news agency, Facebook said that there was no Nothing secret and Onavo and Facebook Research were separate programs.
"I was not spying," because all the people who signed up to participate were informed accordingly, were asked for permissions and were paid, "the company statement said.
"In the end, less than 5% of the people who decided to participate in this market survey were teenagers. And they all signed the parental consent forms. ", he added.