Recently Facebook has been pushing its VPN app “Onavo Protect” on iOS
devices for protecting the personal information of users who
use internet through public networks. This app was acquired by
the social media company in the year 2013 and is supposedly
being used to track user activity and collect data.
These startling revelations have been made by Will Strafach,
CEO of the Sudo Security Group. He published his detailed
findings regarding the types of data collected by the app on
5th March, 2018.
Apparently, Onava Protect application utilizes a Packet
Tunnel Provider app extension which is mainly responsible for
sending the collected data to Facebook.
This extension remains active for as long as the VPN is
connected and gathers the following information even when
the VPN is turned off:
for which the device screen is turned on and off
- Amount of
daily Wi-Fi data used
- Amount of
daily cellular data used
- Duration of
VPN connection used
The latest version of the Facebook app contains a “Protect”
button which redirects users to download Onavo Protect. This
app is available for free in the App Store and Google Play, and
has been created to keep the data safe while browsing or
sharing information on the web.
Even though the application helps in protecting devices
from visiting potentially malicious or harmful websites by
giving a warning, it secretly sends device-related information
to Facebook on a periodic basis.
Strafach also said that it is unclear what Facebook intends to
do with the collected data as of now. No comments have been
received yet from the social media giant regarding this matter.
As for now, we can only hope that Facebook will clear up things
by explaining the purpose of collecting data and remain
respectful of user privacy.