• Caroline Keen

Facebook pay teenagers to give up privacy

Updated: May 17

In January this year Facebook was forced to halt a customer surveillance project when it was found teenagers aged between 13-17 had been paid around twenty US dollars a month. The app downloads 'nearly limitless access' to everything on you phone. At the time Apple took a stand by restricting Facebook's ability to issue the apps involved as the app violated Apple's privacy policies. Go Apple! However, Facebook has continued to offer the app on Android phones. At the time there was a lack of transparency around which countries Facebook had been running the scheme, but it seems the UK and the US were targeted. International concern continues to grow around the kinds of data that Facebook is collecting and without their knowledge. Personal information gained through other apps can be as personal as you menstrual cycle, hear rate, pregnancy status, body weight and other physiological and psychological data. As consumers we need to consider where such information is going, how it is used, who owns this data, and whether it is in our best interests that such data be shared. But this is difficult without transparency. Personal data is infinitely valuable to companies like Facebook but with apps like this we have little control or say over, knowing what is being taken and how it will be used, or shared with other companies. All Facebook users, including children and teenagers, must have the opportunity to make informed decisions.

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