Facebook's VPN Kicked Out of App Store

Facebook's VPN Kicked Out of App Store
The social network's Onavo Project VPN service has been removed from Apple's App Store over privacy concerns.

(CCM) — Facebook has been forced to remove its Onavo Protect VPN service from the App Store after Apple ruled that it "violated its data-collection policies," according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

A VPN service is designed to help users maintain their privacy when using the internet by encrypting data and rerouting it through a server maintained by the VPN provider. But Onavo Project collects data about the user which Facebook uses for its own purposes, according to the report. Facebook has admitted that it uses Onavo Project data to help determine which other iOS apps are popular with Apple owners and how they use those apps.

Apple recently updated its privacy guidelines, banning apps that collect data about "which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing." The guideline change may have been made expressly to ban apps like Onavo Project.

Following meetings between the two technology giants, Facebook agreed to remove the Onavo Project from the App Store. Users who have already installed the app will be unaffected by the move, but they will no longer receive security and other updates.

Onavo Project is still available in Google's Play Store for Android devices.

Image: © Alexander Kirch – RF123.com