Don’t Use Facebook’s Onavo VPN: It’s Designed to Spy On You
You may have seen a new button in Facebook’s mobile app lately: under the Settings menu, a “Protect” option leads you to download an app called Onavo Protect. Don’t do it.
The Wall Street Journal published an article about this last year, but you don’t even need to dig that much to find this out—Onavo Protect tells you about it when you first open the app:
:When you use our VPN, we collect all the info that is sent to, and received from, your mobile device. This includes info about: your device and its location, apps installed on your device and how often you use those apps, the websites you visit, and the amount of data you use.
This helps us improve and operate the Onavo service by analyzing your use of websites, apps and data. Because we’re part of Facebook, we also use this info to improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and services people value, and build better experiences."
According to the Journal, Facebook uses the data it gathers from Onavo Protect to know which apps its users open, when they do so, and where they do so, in order to gain an edge on its competitors. But Facebook can see a lot—if that app doesn’t encrypt its own traffic, in fact, they can see nearly everything you do in that app.