An investigation by TechCrunch has revealed a secretive Facebook program that recruited teens and young adults to give the social media giant near-total access to data on their mobile devices, including the ability to monitor encrypted communications. The findings seem to reaffirm widespread worries about data and privacy among the crypto faithful, could deepen a rift between Facebook and Apple, and will certainly worsen the public impression of Facebook as malicious and unethical.
But this particular Facebook scheme, known as Project Atlas or Facebook Research, is distinct from prior Facebook scandals in one crucial way: Participants were paid up to $20 per month for their data. That’s actually quite in line with visions of the future laid out by blockchain projects including Repay.me and Streamr. Prominent blockchain investor Anthony Pompliano this morning tweeted that “rather than vilify [Facebook] for doing this, we should DEMAND every company do it.”