Ex-employee raises serious allegations: Meta should deliberately let Facebook apps drain cell phone batteries
As the "New York Post" reports, Facebook can secretly drain its users' cell phone batteries in order to carry out tests. At least that's what a former employee of the Meta Group claims in a lawsuit. For a long time it was assumed that the already known phenomenon was due to a bug that Meta had not yet been able to fix.
The practice, known as "negative testing," allows tech companies to put more strain on smartphone battery power to test features or issues. This happens without the cell phone users noticing. For example, it tests how fast an app runs or how an image might load, data scientist George Hayward told the New York Post. Because Hayward refused to participate in those negative tests, he was released, he claims in federal court in Manhattan.
Facebook employee refused to participate in negative tests
Hayward worked on Facebook's Messenger app, which allows users to send messages or make phone and video calls. This app is a crucial communication tool in many countries. Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users worldwide, making it the 4th most used social media app according to the Digital 2021 Global Overview Report.
Deliberately draining cell phone batteries quickly puts people at risk, especially "in situations where they need to communicate with others, including but not limited to police or other emergency services personnel," according to the lawsuit against Facebook's parent company Meta.