Many users suspect that some applications on their mobile phones consume the battery of your cell phone excessively. The funny thing is that a Facebook employee confirmed that this has been done intentionally.
Many of the apps installed on the phone drain the battery of the device due to the background activity.
Within the industry, they are known “negative tests” and are a practice of tech companies trying to drain mobile battery for testing options or speeds behavior of the application when performing certain actions.
The person responsible for this experiment is George Hayward, a data scientist hired by the company, who was eventually fired by Meta for refuse to complete said order.
In an interview with the New York Post, the employee says he was fired last November for refusing to participate in these tests which he considers a lack of ethics for the business side.
“I explained to my superior that this could affect a person, to which he replied that by harming some we can help other users. Any data scientist could understand this situation,” he said.
According to some specialized sites such as QASource, negative tests allow developers to “compare the expected result with the incorrect result” by revealing how an application responds to bad data.
Hayward was in the department tasked with working on Facebook’s Messenger app, which has more than 1.3 billion users all over the world, positioning itself among the most used platforms.
In Facebook’s case, negative tests could be used to see how well certain features work or how quickly messages load when the battery drains faster than expected.
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This came to light in a lawsuit Hayward filed in federal court in Manhattan, who says he was fired in November for his refusal to harm his users.
In the report presented to the court, he claims he does not know the number of people who have been affected by these practices, but believes that the company has participated in them because they have given him an internal document entitled “How to manage the reflection of negative exams”.
The lawyer representing Hayward, Dan Kaiser, indicated that “depleting the battery of phones puts people at risk especially in circumstances where they need to communicate with others, including the police or first responders”.
The attorney noted that “most people don’t know that Meta and other companies can intentionally drain your battery,” adding that it’s “clearly illegal and outrageous for my phone’s battery to be tampered with by anyone.”
Out of confidentiality, in an agreement previously signed by the employee, Meta forced Hayward to drop the lawsuit. But since he’s not willing to give in to pressure, he’s decided to submit his case to arbitration.
Linda Price is a tech expert at News Rebeat. With a deep understanding of the latest developments in the world of technology and a passion for innovation, Linda provides insightful and informative coverage of the cutting-edge advancements shaping our world.