Facebook’s Spy App Emphasises Need For Better Kids Consent

(TechCrunch.com, 31/01/2019)

TechCrunch.com reports:

Facebook  could face fresh scrutiny in Europe following a TechCrunch reporton its use of a VPN app to monitor people’s smartphone activity — including teenagers as young as 13. […]

If it turns out that European teens have been participating in the research effort Facebook could face another barrage of complaints under the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) […]

The VPN app that Facebook has been using as a data-harvesting vehicle […] requires participants give root access to their device — potentially affording the company a very high resolution view of their digital activity indeed. […]

[…] data continuously collected via the VPN app could include private messages in social media apps; chats from in instant messaging apps – including photos/videos sent to others; emails; web searches; web browsing activity; and ongoing location information.

Participants are offered payments of up to $20 (in e-gift tokens) to incentivize them to sign up to have their data harvested on an ongoing basis, with the program open to people aged 13-35. […]

Facebook says parental consent is required for minors aged 13-17. But it’s not clear how robust the company’s age verification process is […]

Source: TechCrunch.com