Agreed. Facebook's judged on active users. It then tries to convert those users into advertising revenue. It's been losing it's appeal to the youth audience who see Facebook as something their parents use.
So it wants to understand the youth audience, and as it's entire business model has been built around collecting personal information, probably doesn't see anything wrong with doing that survey. Especially given the profit motive.
Meanwhile, in other areas, I suspect any behavioural scientist wanting to do the same survey/study would be expected to submit their proposal to an ethics board for a review.. Which is possibly the same standard by which Facebook and other apps should be judged on. Difference is a scientific study would probably be expected to anonymise data, but business wants to de-anonymise, link and flog ads.
Not sure what remedies there should, or could be. More people are waking up to the gross invasions of privacy, so 'social' media apps need to do something. Governments could perhaps legislate for ethical & privacy standards, and maybe force a court appointed ethics board if they can show laws have been broken.
And there's also the slight problem of FANGS, which make up a rather large percentage of the NASDAQ's 'value', and that value could plummit if users switch off.. With the knock-on effect for things like pension funds.
I also like the first/second order analogy. One huge problem I have with 'social' media is if users want to create a Facebook account, and share personal information, then fine.. As long as there's informed consent. But most of the big 'social' media business also try to hoover up personal information from other users, ie all Facebook's tracking. That is not acceptable, and trying to weasle some form of indirect consent via content sites is not ok. If I don't have a Facebook account, then what I do is none of Facebook's business.