Facebook wants to be bigger than Big Brother with the Onavo VPN

While this app is now being pushed via Facebook iOS app, it's also available on Android Play Store. It's this lack of clarity that has privacy advocates in a spin. The fact that Facebook owns Onavo is not readily apparent to those who might be thinking the app is an independent privacy tool unless you read its full description. Marketing Onavo within Facebook could also lead to a boost in users for the VPN app, although the company didn't acquire Onavo merely for its security protections. Improving Facebook's products and services is all well and good, but until and unless you go to the Onavo website or read the App Store description all the way down to the bottom, you don't even know that the app is doing it.

Take a second look, maybe?

Onavo itself isn't new; Facebook acquired it in 2013, and has nudged users to it through the Protect prompt on Android since 2016. The app establishes a VPN connection, protecting internet traffic.

Facebook is encouraging some users in the USA to download an application that allows the company to track other applications on users' device, all under the guise of "protect" section that is supposed to help users keep themselves secure online.

It seems that the more connected we are, the more we are being tracked. Do you want to be a part of the problem, not caring whether or not Facebook is scanning your data?

More news: YouTube Stars Targeted by Gunman in Home Invasion

Onavo Protect was purchased by Facebook in 2013, for the express goal of...you guessed it: mining your data.

There are several advantages of using a VPN, but the most important of them all might be the ability to give someone a degree of anonymity. It is indeed a VPN - a virtual private network - that securely tunnels all your traffic through Onavo's servers. When you turn Onavo Protect on, however, you are routing all of your internet traffic through Facebook's servers, where the information is decrypted for them to see.

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.

Facebook has not issued a statement or comment regarding this new "feature", but as the story has been picked up by most major news outlets including CNBC, it is likely that Zuckerberg and team will address users' concerns before long.

'We let people know about this activity and other ways that Onavo uses and analyses data before they download it'. 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". The company is actually collecting and analysing the data of Onavo users. VPNs also help users in authoritarian countries bypass censors by convincing websites their country of origin is, for example, the United States or Switzerland, the latter of which has some of the world's strictest privacy laws.

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