2 min read

Apple has asked Facebook to take down its app, Onavo Protect from App Store as it violates Apple’s new rules on data collection. Onavo is an Israeli analytics company, which was founded in 2010 and then acquired by Facebook in 2013.

Apple revised their data collection policies in May this year to prevent app developers from engaging in certain app data collection activities in the future. One of their spokesperson told CNBC:

“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.”

What Onavo Protect does?

Onavo Protect is a VPN and data manager, which provides security and data encryption.  It comes with functionalities like:

  • Limiting apps from using data in the background
  • Setting data alerts when apps use too much data
  • A report on how much data is consumed by each app on your phone
  • A VPN network that helps in keeping your personal info protected,

Onavo in their app description have mentioned that they may collect your mobile data traffic to analyze your use of websites, apps, and data. They have further mentioned that, being a part of Facebook, they also use this info to gain insights in order to improve Facebook products and services.

A Facebook spokesperson said,  “We’ve always been clear when people download Onavo about the information that is collected and how it is used. As a developer on Apple’s platform we follow the rules they’ve put in place.”

Though, it is mentioned in the app’s description that the information will be used by Facebook, you have to scroll all the way to the bottom to see that disclosure; something not every new user may do.

This story was first reported on the Wall Street Journal. Earlier, they had also reported that the app has helped Facebook by monitoring usage of competing apps like Snapchat. After this Facebook added the Stories feature in their Instagram app, which is similar to that of Snapchat.

The VPN app is now removed from App Store but is currently available on Google Play Store for the Android device users.

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