In a lawsuit filed against Meta, a former Facebook employee said the app could secretly drain users’ cell phone batteries.
According to the New York Post , data scientist George Hayward and a former Facebook employee said the method is known as “negative testing,” which allows the company to surreptitiously drain the battery of users’ mobile devices under nominally testing features, issues such as how fast apps run or how images load.
Hayward told the manager this could be harmful to users. In response, the manager said that by harming a few users, it can help more people. The 33-year-old data scientist filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court, saying he was fired in November for refusing to participate in the trial.
He said he was in charge of working on Messenger , the application that allows sending text messages, calls and videos, which is an important communication tool in many countries. According to the Global Digital Overview Report 2021, Messenger has 1.3 billion global users, ranking 4th on the list of most used social media apps.
In the Meta lawsuit , Hayward said damaging a cell phone battery can put users at risk, especially in situations where police or lifeguards need to be contacted. He has been working at Facebook since October 2019 with a high-paying contract.
Hayward said he doesn’t know how many people were affected by Facebook’s negative test, but believes the company took the action because he was provided with an internal training document titled “How to Run thoughtful negative testing” and said he had never seen a more horrible document in his career.