Facebook pays users, including teenagers, to track the activity of their smartphones, as part of their data-gathering plans to help them in their competitive efforts, reports a report that could raise new concerns about online privacy.
The investigation conducted by the TechCrunch news website indicated that the initiative, originally known as the Onavo Project, was later renamed to Facebook research, was used to collect user habits information.
News may be an additional problem for Facebook, which is under public scrutiny for failing to take a vigorous action against manipulating its platform and sharing private information with its partners.
After publishing information from TechCrunch, Facebook announced on Wednesday that it had shut down the app in the Apple iOS operating system but did not make it clear whether it was still active for Android users.
The program is for users of 13 to 35 years to pay up to $ 20 a month (13,300 Chilean pins) to get a "root" access to their devices in order to Track your site, use apps, spending habits, and other activities.
In a statement addressed to AFP's press agency, Facebook said it did not "No secret" in this initiative and that Onavo and Facebook Research have separate programs.
"I did not spy" because all the people who signed up for the participation were informed about it, they were asked for their permission and were paid, "says the statement of the company.
"In the end, less than 5% of people who decided to take part in this market research were teenagers. And everyone signed parental consent forms. ", he added.