When TechCrunch asked Facebook to comment, a spokesperson responded by saying, "Like many companies, we invite people to participate in research that helps us identify things we can be doing better".
The BBC's North America technology reporter Dave Lee had been able to sign up to the app by registering himself as a 14-year-old boy and was never asked for proof of parental consent. The company is now unable to distribute internal, early versions of its apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram to developers and employees internally.More news: Young mum dies while carrying baby daughter down train station stairs
A report late Tuesday claimed that Facebook paid people about $20 (roughly Rs 1,400) a month to install and use the Facebook Research app.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Google said its Screenwise Meter app "should not have operated under Apple's developer enterprise program - this was a mistake, and we apologize". "We don't share this information with others and people can stop participating at any time". Private, internal emails from Facebook staff that were published last month revealed that Facebook had relied on the Onavo data when it made a decision to purchase WhatsApp, for example.
"Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple", Apple said.More news: Risky cold temperatures and wind chills coming to Indiana, Midwest
In response, Facebook this week shuttered its paid research project on Apple products - as did Google, which had been running a similar program on Apple's iOS mobile operating system.
On the heels of a report outlining ways Facebook Inc.is collecting data, Apple Inc. revoked a key set of testing tools that the social networking giant uses to ensure its apps are ready for use on the iPhone and iPad. This ban will also delay iOS app testing process for Facebook as each app update must be now submitted through Apple App Store. Mark Warner, D-Va., wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. On Wednesday, an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company had already blocked Facebook Research the day before, before Facebook "voluntarily" pulled the app.
The news could be a further embarrassment for Facebook, which has been under heightened scrutiny over failing to crack down on manipulation of its platform and for sharing private data with its business partners.More news: Daniel Radcliffe slams Tom Brady over Trump support, MAGA hat
Speciically, Facebook's customers - in this case, the app users - should, according to the policy, not have access to the app at all as its use is meant for employees only "and only in conjunction with Your Internal Use Applications for the objective of developing and testing".