Facebook Aims To Become World's Biggest VPN Provider

Facebook's Protect iOS feature effectively installs spyware on iPhones and iPads

Facebook's Protect security feature is essentially Spyware

As spotted by the folks over at TechCrunch, Onavo Protect VPN client, which was acquired by Facebook back in 2013, is now available within the Facebook iOS app, and can be found under the banner "Protect" in the app's navigation menu.

This past fall, Facebook snatched up the teen compliment app tbh, and quickly integrated a similar Q&A feature into its social network soon after. This has led many others concerned about their privacy, wondering how much personal data the social media giant has collected since the day they registered. The app may collect your mobile data traffic to help us recognize tactics that bad actors use.

Onavo's app store description explains that it's "a part of Facebook", and that it's used to "improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and service people value, and build better experiences". (It appears to have been the latter.) Onavo's insights into Tbh's fast rise and heavy engagement likely gave Facebook a heads-up. Typically, a VPN cloaks the user's identity and adds other security features, making it a more secure way to get online, particularly when using public Wi-Fi networks.

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If you launch the Facebook app on your smartphone, pop into the settings and scroll down the "Explore "section (you might need to tap on a "Show more" option) you'll find a link to something called Protect". If you read all the way to the end, you'd learn that Onavo Protect "directs all of your network communications through Onavo's servers", and that, "as part of this process, Onavo collects your mobile data traffic". Around 62 percent of those from Google Play - which could be another reason why Facebook is giving Onavo a push on iOS.

For those who don't know, VPN work by encrypting your data and stopping ISPs and websites from tracking you. But Facebook can see a lot-if that app doesn't encrypt its own traffic, in fact, they can see almost everything you do in that app. According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is collecting and analyzing the data that Onavo gathered from its users. This...is not that. But in general, we recommend staying away from free options-as always, if you aren't paying for the product, you are the product. It can also glean information about rivals like Snap. Many should, and that should be enough to keep your sensitive info out of the hands of most snoopers. (Onavo has also been previously pushed in testing over in the UK). The good ones cost money - usually $6 to $13 a month.

Facebook is encouraging some users in the U.S. 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.

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