Facebook to pull down controversial Onavo VPN app over snooping practices

California: Facebook has decided to pull out its controversial Onavo VPN app off the Google Play Store after it was revealed that the app’s code was used in a Facebook Research app that accessed data about teens.

The Onavo app will eventually shut down and will immediately stop pulling out data from its users for market research. However, as Tech Crunch reports, the app will continue operating as a VPN in short-term until users migrate to a replacement.

Onavo was claimed to use a secure VPN network for users’ personal information, but mentioned that it would collect the time one spends on using apps, mobile, and Wi-Fi data, websites accessed, country, device, and network type.

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Facebook has now decided that instead of providing VPN for data access, it will focus on reward-based market research. The company acquired Onavao to use its VPN app for a reported USD 200 million in 2013.

The company recently drew flak for its Facebook Research app that was pulled down from Apple’s App Store for violating Enterprise Certificate program that permitted data access only for employee apps and did not permit commercial use.


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