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An investigation has revealed that Facebook has been paying people aged between 13 and 35 to install a data harvesting VPN tool. The "Facebook Research" VPN was offered to iOS and Android users who were paid up to $20 per month -- plus referral commissions -- to provide the social network with near-unfettered access to phone, app, and web usage data (a Root Certificate is installed to give a terrifying level of access). As news of the activity came to light, Facebook has announced that the program (sometimes referred to as Project Atlas) is being terminated on iOS, but it seems that it will be continuing on Android. If this sounds slightly familiar, you just need to think back a few months to when Facebook's Onavo Protect VPN was kicked out of the App Store for violating Apple's data collection rules. The investigation was carried out by TechCrunch. It found that Facebook has been using the research program for some time to "gather data on usage habits". Facebook's Research was made available through a range of beta testing services, and in this way, the app was able to "sidestep" the App Store. TechCrunch says that users were asked to install the app and provide "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". Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

 

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