Facebook Shuts Down Its Controversial App That Harvested User Data

Facebook has shut down Onavo, its controversial data collecting and spying app. The app, which masqueraded as a VPN that offered users greater privacy, had been a covert way for Facebook to spy on users and monitor their activities.

For those of you who are out of the loop, here’s a quick rundown: Facebook offered a free VPN app called Onavo on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Unsurprisingly, Facebook spied on everyone who used that app. This has been going on for a few years, and it’s had real-world implications. According to one report, the data Facebook collected through Onavo revealed that WhatsApp was sending over twice as many messages per day as Messenger, which eventually led to the social networking behemoth acquiring WhatsApp for more than $16 billion.

About a year ago, Facebook was forced to remove Onavo from the Apple App Store, as it conflicted with the Apple privacy policy. But until last week, the app remained on the Google Play store. Right now, it’s impossible to download the Onavo app on both an iPhone or Android phone. However, Facebook will continue supporting the app on phones that downloaded the app before it was taken down.


Facebook turns to another app

Facebook’s (reluctant) decision to discontinue Onavo is a good sign for privacy… Maybe? However, Facebook says that it will focus on an app called Facebook Research in the future. Facebook Research, which was violently removed from the Apple App Store last month, is an app that pays users $20 a month to be spied on. As you can imagine, most Facebook Research users are kids that haven’t realized the value of their privacy. Anyway, Facebook Research is still available on Google Play, but it isn’t accepting new users right now.

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One thought on “Facebook Shuts Down Its Controversial App That Harvested User Data

  1. For those who claim you are the product…. They willing to pay you money for your data and they used that info to buy WhatsApp…. That throws that while argument out

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