Some recent reports have percolated that Facebook is testing a new feature called ‘Protect’ in its iOS app. It sports a blue shield icon and once you tap on it, you’ll be redirected to the App Store listing for Facebook Onavo Protect VPN app. Though Onovo claims to provide some tools that make the Internet a safe place, in reality, it falls far short of the privacy that VPN users reasonably anticipate.
Facebook has owned Onavo in 2013 and pushed users towards it via the Protect prompt on Android. Like all other VPN services, Facebook Onavo Protect VPN is a private platform that acts as a portal to connect to the larger Internet, excavating your data via an encrypted path to cut down the risk of snooping. The latest development emerges among the allegation raised against the social media tycoon for making use of private data of its users without their consent.
It’s not clear yet how the Company is planning to leverage the user data it will gather via Facebook Onavo Protect VPN app. Onavo is more invasive than typical VPNs and tries to be on all the time rather than just when you need a little additional security. The App Store description of the app reads,
“Onavo collects your mobile data traffic.”
The VPN app expressly examines, analyzes, and keeps a track of user data over time, feeding it right to Facebook. The app also states that it may preserve users’ data for as long as they have an account. Despite the fact that the blue platform promotes Onavo to its massive user base as a tool for safety and security, it puts considerably less emphasis on its invasive features. And various users likely won’t realize that other VPN services approach in a different way and provides much more comprehensive security features.
Even disabling the VPN feature is deeply buried inside the app’s settings instead of making it front-and-center on the home page. The more the VPN is on, the more user data it captures and examines.
Although Facebook Onavo Protect VPN for Android is quite safe, its iOS app has provoked pushback from the technical community. For sure, the Company would endeavor to spin their VPN spyware app as a way to ‘protect’ users.
In any way, Onavo Protect app doesn’t seem to prioritize user privacy protection. For instance, the Company’s official website doesn’t have an active SSL certificate. This means there’s no HTTPS encryption for users navigating the site. So, if you’re concerned about their online privacy and safety, be sure not to download the app.
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