Facebook VPN, Onavo Project, To Be Removed From App Store On Apple’s Demand

In a few days, Facebook will remove its mobile Facebook VPN application, called the Onavo Project, from the App Store after Apple allegedly accused the app of violating the privacy guidelines of the official iOS store, according to a new report published by The Wall Street Journal.

Onavo Project VPN collects data on users’ behavior while online

Onavo Project was an Israeli startup that was founded with the objective of assisting users to track applications that use more data or more battery power on mobile phones, as well as to provide secure browsing across their VPN network. In 2013, Facebook took over the company, embedded the tool in its application ecosystem and transformed it into a medium for collecting information about user behavior beyond its core apps.

The social network and the Onavo project team do not deny that the so-called Facebook VPN is collecting information from users. “To provide this layer of protection, Onavo uses a VPN to establish a secure connection to route all its network communications through Onavo’s servers. As part of this process, Onavo collects data traffic from your mobile phone,” reads the Onavo Project’s privacy policy.

Facebook VPN to be removed from App Store

The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has recently informed Facebook that Onavo Project VPN app is not in line with the new App Store privacy policy that was introduced last June, restricting developers’ capacity to build user databases and distribute or sell them to third parties.

Complying with the Apple’s demands, Facebook is withdrawing Onavo Project VPN from the App Store, even though the social network argues that the so-called Facebook VPN has not infringed any rules.

“We have always been clear with users who download Onavo about what information is collected and how it is used. As a developer on the Apple platform, we follow the rules they have implemented,” a Facebook spokesperson stated for The Verge.

Jackson Bey

Jackson Bey was born and raised in Lethbridge Alberta but moved east when he was 22. Apart from running his own consulting firm. Jackson spends his time canoeing the many lakes of Ontario. As a financial journalist Jackson has published stories for CBC Business Online, as well as Buzz Feed and Motherboard. As a contributor to Billionaire 365, Jackson mostly covers markets and trade.

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