Onavo Protects, Tracks, & Sells User Data

Apple kindly asked Facebook to remove Onavo Protect due to its user data tracking nature which violates Apple’s new iOS Store Guidelines.

What is Onavo?

Onavo Protect is a Facebook-developed Virtual Private Network (VPN) app that initially was created to help monitor mobile data usage.  Facebook declared that this free mobile VPN app was to “keep you and your data safe when you browse and share information on the web.”

Onavo evolved into a data collection tool for Facebook, assisting companies to track smartphone users’ activities through different apps, learning how they utilize third-party apps.

Apple’s New Store Guidelines

Apple notified Facebook that Onavo Protect has violated Apple’s new App Store Guidelines, which restricts app developers from storing and selling databases of user information.

“We work hard to protect user privacy and data security throughout the Apple ecosystem. With the latest update to our guidelines, we made it explicitly clear that apps should not collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing and must make it clear what user data will be collected and how it will be used.”

Apple recommended Facebook to voluntarily remove Onavo Protect from the App Store. Facebook complied with Apple’s request.

Onavo Protection? Or Onavo Collection of User Data?

Onavo Protect is marketed as a free VPN tool to keep user’s data safe, while it redirects users’ internet traffic to a private server operated by Facebook.

“Onavo may collect your mobile data traffic. This helps us improve and operate the Onavo service by analyzing your use of websites, apps, and data. Because we’re part of Facebook, we also use this info to improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and services people value, and build better experiences.”

Facebook has been tracking your activities on the Internet as well.  What did you expect out of a Facebook developed app in that case? Although Onavo Protect does provide a VPN, it also keeps tabs on your online activities.

What Does the Future Hold for Onavo Protect?

Onavo Protect has been downloaded about 33 million times across both Apple and Android devices.  Apple users that previously downloaded Onavo Protect will still be able to use it, but updates will not be accessible.

Facebook removed Onavo Protect from the iOS App Store, but will still be available on the Play Store unless Google determines otherwise.

Original Article Found Here.

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