George Hayward, a former Meta employee, revealed that Facebook and Messenger have a secret feature that can drain the battery of phones where both apps are installed.
He explained that it is a function called “negative test” which is designed so that the company can carry out new tests in the functions of the application in question in such a way that they can make changes if they consider it necessary. Nevertheless, this is done behind the back of the users since using these negative tests translates into an additional energy expense that causes the equipment to lose autonomy.
The use of this function came to light after Hayward filed a lawsuit against Meta accusing the company of having fired him after he refused to carry out this kind of tests on the grounds that they could be dangerous.
“I told the manager, ‘This could hurt someone,’ and she said that by hurting a few we can help a larger number of people,” Hayward says.
The impact of the disclosures of the former Meta employee are significant as these are applications that are installed on billions of devices.
Hayward argues that using this secret feature endangers users by putting them in circumstances where they don’t have enough battery power to call 911 or the police if needed, all while people are unaware of it.
“I refused to take this test. It turns out that if you tell your boss: ‘No, that’s illegal,’ it doesn’t work very well,” he denounced.
Hayward considers this to be an illegal policywhile pointing out that companies should not have the ability to carry out this type of test, even more so if the user is not aware of it.
At the moment, the number of users who may have been affected by this type of practice applied by Meta is unknown.
One option to avoid being a victim of this feature is to uninstall the Facebook and Messenger apps. in such a way that Meta developers cannot access the phone.
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