Facebook apps can drain iPhone and Android batteries by design says ex-Meta employee

A data scientist who was formerly employed by Meta just dropped a major truth bomb. The ex-Mets employee claims that Facebook apps can purposefully drain the batteries of both iPhones and Android smartphones in order to study how low battery power affects app performance.


Phone battery draining for no particular reason? Facebook apps may be why

As reported by The New York Post, Meta’s Facebook apps can drain the batteries of its users’ smartphones. This applies to both iPhone and Android smartphones. The NYP report beats around the bush and makes the assumption that the “feature” has been applied to customer phones without their knowledge or consent, but it does not state this clearly.

The practice, known as “negative testing,” allows tech companies to “surreptitiously” run down someone’s mobile juice in the name of testing features or issues such as how fast their app runs or how an image might load, according to data scientist George Hayward.

“I said to the manager, ‘This can harm somebody,’ and she said by harming a few we can help the greater masses,” said Hayward, 33, who claims in a Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit that he was fired in November for refusing to participate in negative testing.

Howard claimed that he would not overlook the possibility that someone may require their battery for 911 calls, crash detection, or fall detection. People who are engaged in critical activities, such as police officers or rescue personnel, may have their batteries depleted by the Facebook apps.

Hayward allegedly received an internal training manual from Meta titled “How to run intelligent negative tests” at one point during his employment at the company. This manual featured examples of how to carry out such tests. This implies that the dominant social media giant has conducted similar experiments in the past. However, Meta has not yet made a statement about the situation; one is anticipated to be released soon.

Our take

Let’s face it, Meta’s current worry should be the general public’s opinion. Even if it can convince regulators and watchdogs of the tests it may have been conducting, but persuading the public forum will be more challenging. Meta’s best course of action in this situation may be an immediate statement and transparency.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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