Facebook removing Onavo VPN from App Store for gathering app data

Facebook is removing its controversial and spyware-like Onavo Protect application from the App Store after Apple found the app in violation of newly implemented privacy policies.

The Wall Street Journal reports Apple earlier this month informed Facebook that Onavo Protect was in violation of App Store policies implemented in June.

Facebook and Apple met last week to discuss the Onavo app, and last Thursday, Apple suggested that Facebook voluntarily remove the Onavo app, which Facebook agreed to do.

Onavo, a free VPN, promised to “keep you and your data safe when you browse and share information on the web,” but the app’s real purpose was tracking user activity across multiple different apps to learn insights about how Facebook customers use third-party apps.

Whenever a person using Onavo opens up an app or website, traffic is redirected to Facebook’s servers, which log the action in a database to allow Facebook to draw conclusions about app usage from aggregated data.