Hidden inside the navigation menu of the facebook app (currently for iPhone only) lies a banner titled “Protect”. If you click this you will be redirected to download Onavo a “VPN Security” app for both iOS and android. This app was acquired by Facebook way back in 2013 but is just now being pushed. Sadly, Facebook didn’t have security in mind during this acquisition.
With the download of Onavo, Facebook has the ability to monitor user activity across all apps on their phone. This information gives Facebook a heads up on trend spotting allowing it to know which apps to buy next or if their changes affect the other social media giants. What it also does is invade the privacy of any user that downloads this product. Facebook hides this invasion by calling it protection and assuming users will look into the app’s description for more details. But, Onavo does it’s best to hide its spyware like behavior from the user, the details of which can’t be found until after the read more:
To provide this layer of protection, Onavo uses a VPN to establish a secure connection to direct all of your network communications through Onavo’s servers. As part of this process, Onavo collects your mobile data traffic. 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
Soon enough many users who think they are protecting their Facebook will accidentally be feeding more of their information into the product itself. This protective feature is one that can definitely be skipped when trying to secure your Facebook from unwanted security breaches. Instead follow a tutorial and secure your account on your own. And, in the future when Facebook suggests any apps to download be sure to read the fine print.
– Bailey Pearson