Facebook’s controversial Onavo VPN service to shut down | HT Tech

Facebook’s controversial Onavo VPN service to shut down

Facebook is pulling the plug on its intrusive Onavo VPN app that can monitor users’ data and even track they time spent on other applications and websites.

| Updated on: Feb 22 2019, 16:36 IST
Facebook’s snooping VPN app Onavo to shut down
Facebook’s snooping VPN app Onavo to shut down (REUTERS)

Facebook has decided to shut down its controversial Onavo VPN application. The social networking giant has also announced to end unpaid market research programmes. It will, however, continue to conduct paid marketing research programmes as it will provide more details on privacy to users before they sign up.

According to a TechCrunch report, Facebook has removed the Onavo VPN application from Google Play Store. The app will continue to work for existing users for some time before its completely shut down.

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Facebook had acquired Onavo, an  Israel-based data security platform, in 2013. Later, Facebook launched Onavo as a VPN application for end users. The platform, however, came under fire after it was discovered that Facebook was leveraging the app to monitor its rivals and even sensitive user data.

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Apple in August last year removed Facebook's Onavo application from App Store for breaching its data collection policies.

Facebook's latest announcement comes days after the social networking company was caught running a paid programme under which it got access to sensitive data of users in exchange of money.

Facebook paid people aged between 13 and 35 as much as $20 to install a Research app. After defending the controversial research programme, Facebook said it was shutting down its Research app.

"Key facts about this market research programme are being ignored. Despite early reports, there was nothing 'secret' about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research App,"a Facebook spokesman had said.


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First Published Date: 22 Feb, 16:36 IST