Facebook's 'Free' VPN Is Basically Spyware


In other words, rather than maintaining your privacy, the app is making use of the data you send across the VPN connection to provide insights to Facebook on what its users are doing online. We have a full rundown on what VPNs do here, but put simply: a VPN encrypts all your internet traffic and routes it through a server somewhere else.

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. If you want to use a powerful VPN service for free, you have to expect the company to make money in some regard, and that happens to be your data for Facebook's uses.

Facebook is now offering some mobile app users a wireless-networking app without first disclosing that it's owned by Facebook, or that it collects information for the social networking company. What could be an innovation on Facebook's part might turn out, however, to be a risk for user's privacy. "We let people know about this activity and other ways that Onavo uses and analyses data before they download it", said Erez Naveh, Product Manager at Onavo in the statement. But if you'd like one to check out, try giving Private Internet Access a look.

VPNs work by forcing your laptop or mobile device to establish a connection to a third-party server before then connecting you to any websites or online services.

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Indeed, Facebook is not shy in admitting the data-gathering, even if it's not shouting about it.

If you'd like to use a VPN service, there are literally tens of thousands to choose from.

Onavo's app store description explains that it's "a part of Facebook", and that it's used to "improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and service people value, and build better experiences".

According to TechCrunch, this is not the first time that Facebook tested the Onavo VPN under the Protect banner.

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It is unclear how Facebook is planning to leverage the user data it will collect through the Onavo Protect app. The clamor over Onavo illustrates just how fragile Facebook's image is right now.

'The app may collect your mobile data traffic to help us recognise tactics that bad actors use. But Facebook can see a lot-if that app doesn't encrypt its own traffic, in fact, they can see almost everything you do in that app.

The app promises to warn you when you visit potentially malicious or harmful sites and help secure your personal information when you're connected to a public Wi-Fi network. The application could further help Facebook gain knowledge on how its rivals, Twitter and Snap are being used by users. Disconnect Pro is a VPN that also blocks tracking and malware, so it may be a good alternative to Onavo Protect if that's what you're looking for.

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