If you notice that your iPhone’s battery is draining faster than usual while using the Facebook or Messenger app, you might not be wrong. A former Meta data scientist says the company can secretly drain both Android and iPhone batteries as a part of its internal testing.
In an interview with The New York Post, George Hayward claims he was fired last November for refusing to participate in “negative testing” while working on the Messanger app.
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.
As noted by QASource, negative testing allows developers to “compare the expected output against the incorrect output” by revealing how an app responds to invalid data.
Hayward filed a lawsuit against Meta but later withdrew the suit due to an arbitration requirement.
“Any data scientist worth his or her salt will know, ‘Don’t hurt people,’” he told The Post.
Killing someone’s cellphone battery puts people at risk, especially “in circumstances where they need to communicate with others, including but not limited to police or other rescue workers,” according to the litigation filed against Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms.
Facebook apps have long been considered iPhone battery drainers.