Earlier this year, Apple banned Facebook’s data-collecting app from its store, effectively killing it. However, it was revealed this week that the app, called Facebook Research, managed to gather plenty of information before it got nixed. According to TechCrunch, the defunct Facebook Research app gathered “personal and sensitive” data on about 187,000 users.
The social media giant made this admission in a letter to Senator Richard Blumenthal’s office, revealing that it gathered data on 31,000 users in the U.S., including 4,300 teenagers. The rest of the affected users were from India.
This news is particularly ironic given that earlier this week, Facebook announced it would be rolling out yet another app that will pay users for the right to snoop on their data. Sen. Blumenthal, a long-time critic of the company, was quick to blast the decision.
After its previous app was rightly taken down and blocked from operating, Facebook moved more quickly to reintroduce a market research product than it has to provide any substantial consumer privacy protections or resolve the significant abuse on its platform,” he told TechCrunch. “At a time when the company is under investigation for its data practices and anticompetitive actions, the Facebook Study app is at best tone-deaf and ill-considered.
Even though the new app has stronger privacy protections than the previous one, there’s no arguing that this is a bad look for the company. However, there’s evidently no amount of bad press that will stop it from seeking new ways to collect our info.
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