“Desperate for data on its competitors, Facebook has been secretly paying people to install a ‘Facebook Research’ VPN that lets the company suck in all of a user’s phone and web activity, similar to Facebook’s Onavo Protect app that Apple banned in June and that was removed in August,” Josh Constine reports for TechCrunch. “Facebook sidesteps the App Store and rewards teenagers and adults to download the Research app and give it root access to network traffic in what may be a violation of Apple policy so the social network can decrypt and analyze their phone activity.”
“Since 2016, Facebook has been paying users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 per month plus referral fees to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android ‘Facebook Research’ app. Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history page,” Constine reports. “The strategy shows how far Facebook is willing to go and how much it’s willing to pay to protect its dominance — even at the risk of breaking the rules of Apple’s iOS platform on which it depends.”
Constine reports, “It’s clear that even after Apple’s warnings and the removal of Onavo Protect, Facebook was still aggressively collecting data on its competitors via Apple’s iOS platform.”
Read more in the full article here.
“Apple says Facebook broke an agreement it made with Apple by publishing a “research” app for iPhone users that allowed the social giant to collect all kinds of personal data about those users, TechCrunch reported Tuesday,” Kurt Wagner reports for Recode. “The app allowed Facebook to track users’ app history, their private messages and their location data. Facebook’s research effort reportedly targeted users as young as 13 years old.”
“As of last summer, apps that collect that kind of data are against Apple’s privacy guidelines. That means Facebook couldn’t make this research app available through the App Store, which would have required Apple approval. Instead, Facebook apparently took advantage of Apple’s ‘Developer Enterprise Program’ … Apple doesn’t review and approve these apps like it does for the App Store because they’re only supposed to be downloaded by employees who work for the app’s creator,” Wagner reports. “Facebook, though, used this program to pay non-employees as much as $20 per month download the research app without Apple’s knowledge.”
“Apple’s response, via a PR rep this morning: ‘We designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization. Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple. Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked, which is what we did in this case to protect our users and their data,'” Wagner reports. “It’s highly unlikely Apple would pull Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp from the App Store, but it’ll be telling to see if Apple tries to punish Facebook in some other way. The two companies already have a contentious relationship, and this won’t help.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve said ad infinitum, Facebook is an evil outfit that’s constantly up to no good and utterly bereft of a moral compass.
Facebook employees should be ashamed.
If Facebook disappeared tomorrow, the world would be a better place.
Just reading about Facebook BTS makes us feel almost as icky as when we used it for personal accounts years ago, to see what it was all about. Turned out it was mostly people advertising their fake perfect lives to their "friends" while Facebook took & resold their personal data.
— MacDailyNews (@MacDailyNews) January 18, 2019
We use FaceBook as an RSS feed. Our CMS automatically reposts our article headlines and links them back to our website. That is our only interaction with Facebook and has been our only interaction with Facebook for years. We deleted our personal accounts [which we opened only so we could understand the Facebook phenomenon] many years ago.
If you want to share photos and videos with friends, text them using Apple’s end-to-end encrypted iMessage service. You need to control your social networking, not cede it to a gatekeeper like Facebook. – MacDailyNews, March 19, 2018
If you haven’t already (as if you haven’t seen and heard more than enough), as we’ve been advising for years: #DeleteFaceBook!
As we wrote last May, “If you trust Mark Zuckerberg to be the keeper of your photos, contacts, political views, religious beliefs, etc., you’re batshit insane.”
Instant messages sent by Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s early days, reported by Business Insider in May 2010:
Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuckerberg: Just ask
Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuckerberg: People just submitted it.
Zuckerberg: I don’t know why.
Zuckerberg: They “trust me”
Zuckerberg: Dumb fucks
Hidden documents reveal how Facebook made money by bamboozling children – January 18, 2019
Roger McNamee: I mentored Mark Zuckerberg. I loved Facebook. But I can’t stay silent about what’s happening. – January 17, 2019
Apple CEO Cook calls for U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation in TIME op-ed – January 17, 2019
Senator Marco Rubio introduces privacy bill to create federal regulations on data collection – January 16, 2019
Apple endorses comprehensive privacy legislation in U.S. Senate testimony – September 26, 2018
California’s data privacy law highlights growing frustration with tech industry – July 17, 2018
U.S. House Republicans demand answers from Apple, Google on privacy, data practices – July 9, 2018
California lawmakers approve data-privacy bill despite opposition from Google, Facebook, advertisers – June 29, 2018
For years, Facebook gave other tech firms more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed – December 19, 2018
Walt Mossberg quits Facebook – December 18, 2018
UK lawmakers publish internal Facebook emails that reveal use of free iOS ‘spyware’ VPN and more – December 5, 2018
Don’t share photos to Facebook, use Apple’s secure and private iCloud instead – November 20, 2018
Sleazy Facebook’s top execs ‘make tobacco executives look like Mr. Rogers’ – November 16, 2018
Tim Berners-Lee: Facebook and Google may need to be broken up – November 1, 2018
Apple CEO Cook says companies are weaponizing our personal data, and he’s right – October 26, 2018
Apple CEO Cook promotes privacy as ‘fundamental human right’ via tweetstorm; asks ‘What kind of world do we want to live in?’ – October 24, 2018
CNN interview: Apple CEO Cook believes data collection by the likes of Google and Facebook has crossed the line – October 24, 2018
Video of data privacy keynote address from Apple CEO Cook – October 24, 2018
Apple CEO Cook backs comprehensive federal privacy laws in the U.S., warns data being ‘weaponized’ – October 24, 2018
FBI investigating Facebook security breach where attackers accessed 30 million users’ personal information – October 12, 2018
Google exposed user data, did not disclose to public fearing repercussions – October 10, 2018
After trying and failing to hide the issue, Alphabet pulls plug on Google+ after bug exposes data from up to 500,000 users – October 8, 2018
Facebook discovers security breach affecting 50 million users – September 28, 2018
Facebook is giving advertisers access to users’ shadow contact information – September 27, 2018
42% of U.S. users have ‘taken a break’ from Facebook; 28% have deleted the Facebook app in the past year – September 5, 2018
Researchers find Google harvests more data from Android – and Apple iOS – users than most people think – August 21, 2018
Google hit with lawsuit accusing them of tracking phone users regardless of privacy settings – August 20, 2018
Google tracks users movements even when explicitly told not to – Associated Press – August 13, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg loses $16 billion in record Facebook fall – July 26, 2018
Facebook stock plunges as users vanish – July 25, 2018
Apple highlights user privacy as Facebook exec steps down – June 14, 2018
The 18 things you may not realize Facebook knows about you: Firm reveals the extent of its spying in a 454-page document to U.S. Congress – June 12, 2018
Facebook confirms sharing users’ personal data with Chinese companies – June 6, 2018
Apple’s macOS Mojave removes integration with third-party internet accounts like Facebook – June 6, 2018
Apple borks Facebook’s pervasive personal data-harvesting operation – June 5, 2018
Apple requested ‘zero’ personal data in deals with Facebook – CEO Tim Cook – June 5, 2018
Facebook CEO blasts Apple’s latest privacy protections as ‘cute virtue signaling’ – June 5, 2018