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Facebook is forced to withdraw from the App Store application that spied on users

If you have a company that likes polemics, Facebook. And she got into another one this week, as informed by the Wall street journal.

In 2013, Facebook acquired Onavo and started offering a VPN service in order to keep your data safe while you surf the internet, blocking potentially dangerous websites and protecting your personal information. Why launch something like this for free to users? Simple: the data collected by the VPN (and not just what you do on the web, but on your smartphone's apps too) is passed on to the social network so that it stays on top of everything you do.

Onavo collects its mobile data traffic (). As we are part of Facebook, we also use this information to improve Facebook products and services, get insights about the products and services that people value and create better experiences.


With these data in hand, Facebook can identify trends, for example, the emergence of a new app / service that could threaten your business and quickly make a purchase offer. Quite fairly, we can say that this is a spywareafter all, in the app's description, he says that he intends to protect his data when in fact he is doing something else. Such a service should not be available on the App Store and, fortunately, Apple decided to take action.

After being downloaded more than 33 million times, Ma pressured Facebook to remove the app. Discussions are said to have started last week and Facebook has agreed to voluntarily withdraw Onavo from the store.

Here is the statement by an Apple spokesperson:

We work hard to protect user privacy and data security across Apple's ecosystem. With the most recent update to our guidelines, we make it explicitly clear that apps should not collect information about what other apps are installed on a user?s device for analysis or advertising / marketing purposes, they should make it clear what user data will be collected and how they will be collected will be used.

And Facebook:

We have always been clear when people download Onavo about the information collected and how it is used. As a developer on the Apple platform, we follow the rules they have implemented.

Obviously, the Facebook service violates the App Store guideline in every way possible. We may even consider it a surprise that Onavo lasted this long in Ma's store, that is so.

It is worth noting that, for those who have already downloaded / installed the app, it will continue to work fine. Onavo will not only receive more updates from Facebook, as it is not available on the App Store. On Android, however, Onavo remains available and there are no signs that it will be removed from Google Play.

via TechCrunch, The Verge