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Facebook Security App Pulled from iTunes App Store

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Aug 23, 2018, 7:10 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Facebook has removed Onavo Protect, its VPN service, from the iTunes App Store after being told by Apple that the app violated its rules. Onavo, which Facebook purchased in 2013, promised to "keep you and your data safe" by "blocking potentially harmful websites and securing your personal information." At the same time, the app provided analytical data to Facebook, such as app usage info, in order to help Facebook see which apps worked and which didn't. Apple, which views itself as a protector of personal privacy, explained, "We work hard to protect user privacy and data security throughout the Apple ecosystem. We made it explicitly clear that apps should not collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing and must make it clear what user data will be collected and how it will be used." Apple contacted Facebook about the matter last week and the social network agreed to pull the app. Even so, it insisted the app complied with Apple's guidelines. "We've always been clear when people download Onavo about the information that is collected and how it is used," said Facebook in a statement. "As a developer on Apple's platform, we follow the rules they've put in place." Onavo is still available to Android devices through the Google Play Store.

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