8.3 C
New York
Thursday, Feb 25, 2021
Image default

Apple: Facebook's Onavo VPN Violates App Store Rules

Facebook Mobile Smartphone

Back in 2013, Facebook acquired Israeli startup Onavo and with it gained access to the company’s mobile analytics and data compression tech. Both were put to good use for Internet.org, but more recently Facebook launched the Onavo Protect security app for iOS.

As we noted back in February, Facebook promotes Onavo Protect as a way of keeping your data private while browsing the mobile web. The app does this using a VPN. However, Facebook also takes the opportunity to track users who use it and send information about other apps used and websites visited back to the mothership.

Best VPN Services

  • NordVPN





  • TunnelBear VPN

    TunnelBear VPN




  • Private Internet Access VPN

    Private Internet Access VPN




  • CyberGhost VPN

    CyberGhost VPN




  • IPVanish VPN

    IPVanish VPN




  • TorGuard VPN

    TorGuard VPN




  • PureVPN





  • KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

    KeepSolid VPN Unlimited




  • Golden Frog VyprVPN

    Golden Frog VyprVPN




  • Hide My Ass VPN

    Hide My Ass VPN




Facebook admits Onavo collects mobile data traffic, but explains it away as helping to improve the service.

We weren’t happy with how Onavo operates and now Apple isn’t, either. As CNBC reports, Apple informed Facebook earlier this week that Onavo now violates the rules of the App Store due to the data collection it performs. Why didn’t it violate the rules before? Because Apple just updated its guidelines, which meant Onavo now crosses the line regarding what is acceptable.


  • The Best VPN Apps for the iPhone

    The Best VPN Apps for the iPhone

  • How to Set Up and Use a VPN

    How to Set Up and Use a VPN

  • Be Careful With Free VPNs: Your Data Might Be Going to Advertisers

    Be Careful With Free VPNs: Your Data Might Be Going to Advertisers

Apple apparently gave Facebook a choice: update the app to follow the new guidelines or have the app removed. Facebook decided to voluntarily remove Onavo Protect from the App Store rather than continue to offer its protection without the data collection. That says a lot, doesn’t it?

In a statement Facebook explained, “We’ve always been clear when people download Onavo about the information that is collected and how it is used … As a developer on Apple’s platform we follow the rules they’ve put in place.”

It’s unclear if Onavo will ever reappear on the App Store, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Related posts

Mozilla's Firefox Experiments With a Paid VPN Service


Security Testing Lab Evaluates VPN Utilities


How Net Neutrality Repeal Is Fueling VPN Adoption


1 comment

Leave a Comment