Facebook is halting a scheme that gathered highly personal data from paid volunteers, after it was exposed.
TechCrunch said participants – including those aged 13-17 – had been paid up to $20 (£15.30) a month to open up their phones to deep analysis.
The news site said the app involved appeared to breach Apple’s privacy protection policies. TechCrunch reported Facebook used social media ads to target teenagers for the scheme. Facebook denies this.
A spokeswoman for the social network was unable to say whether it ran the programme outside the US, reports BBC.
It added that “there are some instances when we will collect this information even where the app uses encryption, or from within secure browser sessions”.
It added that participants had to agree not to disclose “any information about this project to third parties”.
The social network said everyone involved in the programme had consented, and that market research was standard practice.
However, in the hours after TechCrunch’s report was published, Facebook said it would end the programme on Apple devices. It is not, however, suspending a parallel effort on Android. The research focused on users aged 13-35, and those under 18 were asked to get signed parental consent, Facebook said.