Onavo VPN Client Now Available Within Facebook App for iOS

It seems that much of the outcry is that Facebook is the one benefiting from your information, rather than the information it's recording.

Facebook is entitled to "all the imaginable data of the user, such as name, telephone number, device data, location, apps on the device and visited websites", after permission from the user.

Unfortunately in some cases, this tracking feature isn't always disclosed so publicly, and in some cases is masquerading as something else.

In case you haven't noticed, the Facebook mobile app now has an option in its menu called "Protect". Plus, Facebook linked to the Onavo Protect app in the United Kingdom version of the Facebook app (on both iOS and Android) starting in 2016, though there was little reporting on that fact then. The source however notes that this is not the first time Onavo's Protect has shown up in Facebook's app, as it has been spotted before as well in the United Kingdom back in 2016.

Onavo Protect, bought by the social networking company back in 2013, is being promoted to users of the iOS version of its app. Majority of the reviews lauded the new product while others blasted Facebook for another product that allegedly spies users. Clicking the "Protect" section in the Facebook app will launch the App Store where you can choose to download and install it.

IRONY IN TECH is such a tasty dish, with the latest serving arriving in the form of Facebook's "Protect" security tool that effectively installing spyware on iPhones and iPads. This helps us improve and operate the Onavo service by analysing your use of websites, apps and data. Certain, paid-for, VPNs won't track a single thing you do, but Onavo Protect is free.

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'Like other VPNs, it acts as a secure connection to protect people from potentially harmful sites.

The data available with app insights firm Sensor Tower reveals that the Onavo Protect app has so far received more than 33 million installs across iOS and Android devices and around 62 percent of those are from Google Play.

This gives Facebook so much data that they can easily spot new trends across the mobile ecosystem, tell if a new app is about to become a breakout hit, identify mobile features that resonate to users, and so much more.

That's when Facebook announced it was buying Onavo, a mobile analytics startup based in Israel. Over time, this helps the tool work better for you and others.

"Onavo collects your mobile data traffic", the app's description says.

'We let people know about this activity and other ways that Onavo uses and analyses data before they download it'. Because Facebook owns Onavo, Facebook gets access to that data. With a VPN, internet traffic is encrypted so that hackers cannot come in. The app describes itself as part of Facebook, and says right out that it's used to "improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and service people value, and build better experiences".

  • Toni Ryan