Facebook’s Onavo App Removed from Apple’s App Store

By Nitish Singh / August 23, 2018

Facebook’s Onavo app was designed to offer an added layer of security and data encryption for iOS and Android devices. While the app was meant to secure personal information when using public networks, the app also collects user data for analytics and marketing purposes which breaches Apple’s App Store privacy guidelines.

Onavo is an Israeli analytics company which was acquired by Facebook in 2013. The company offers popular services like Onavo Extend and Onavo Protect. The app was able to block apps from using data in the background and also restrict apps to using Wi-Fi data only. The app also offered VPN services for free. Last Thursday, Apple officials suggested that Facebook voluntarily removed the app after being notified by the tech giant about its privacy breaching code.

An Apple spokesperson revealed "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."

Earlier this year, Facebook revealed that it does not use the Onavo app on Apple and Google Android devices for collecting information on individuals or for the company’s own product uses. However, the company did admit to collecting information on installed apps and usage patterns to identify popular apps. The data was used by the social media company for improving its own apps. Free VPN apps are notorious for collecting information in exchange for offering services for free, making them less than ideal for accessing sensitive data.

What do you think about the removal of the Onavo app? Let us know in the comments below. Also, to get instant tech updates, follow TechNadu’s Facebook page, and Twitter handle.

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