Facebook 'Protect' software installs spyware on iOS
Facebook 'Protect' software installs spyware on iOS
Facebook's Protect security feature is essentially Spyware
15 February, 2018, 15:25
When you tap this function, you are redirected to the app store where you can download "Onavo Protect - VPN Security" put out by Onavo, Inc.
With a name that is likely to lure users into a false sense of security, the new Protect feature is touted as "an added layer of security", but it is in fact a VPN service created to route your web browsing through its servers to collect and analyse user data.
And as if that was not enough, Facebookrolled out another product named "Onavo Protect - VPN Security" meant to help users manage mobile data either by limiting an app's data usage or by setting them to use only a WiFi connection.
It reads: 'To provide this protection, Onavo uses a VPN to establish a secure connection to direct all of your network communications through Onavo's servers. The app may collect your mobile data traffic to help us recognise tactics that bad actors use. "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".
It's also important to note that Facebook's Protect tab now only seems to be available for iOS users, as the Android devices running Facebook at MobileSyrup's offices did not carry the feature. The U.S.is now the app's largest user base, followed by India and Brazil.
Currently, it's unknown how many users have actually come across the feature within the Facebook iOS app, or if the company plans to unveil other security features.
Facebook has not yet issued an official statement on the addition of Onavo to its main app.
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Recently, users of the Facebook iOS app noticed a link to something labelled Protect within settings.
'Like other VPNs, it acts as a secure connection to protect people from potentially harmful sites.
Facebook has integrated an application called Onavo Protect under its messaging platform.
For those who don't know, VPN work by encrypting your data and stopping ISPs and websites from tracking you.
See, Facebook can track a lot of what you do on the web, but it can't track what you do in other apps on your phone. Users are being encouraged to download it from the App Store.
As TechCrunch's Sarah Perez notes, this isn't the first time when the Facebook app is making way for the Onavo Protect app. TheNextWeb Social Media Director Matt Navarra spotted the Protect option in December 2016. Earlier this year, the Mark Zuckerberg-led team also ran a small test to let its users post their Instagram Stories directly to WhatsApp Status.
We'll just have to wait and see to get more of a handle on whether this is still a case of dipping toes in the water, or a more full-on push to drive installations of Onavo Protect to Facebook users.
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