Facebook ‘Protect’ A Spyware For iPhone And Android Devices
A lot of people simply use Facebook for inquisitive purposes. Seeing what your friends and family are doing, what they’re eating, and which places they have checked into.
However, if you dive a bit deeper you learn that the social network has a variety of features. And also functionality in place to extend the usefulness. One new feature, called Protect, is designed to make users feel safer, but all may not be as it seems.
As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook purchased the security software company Onavo back in 2013. It is the Facebook-owned Onavo Protect iOS app linked to the Facebook iOS app settings under the “Protect” label.
After a paragraph about the protection that Onavo provides and some bullet points on how the service works, the company states that it is essentially spyware. The company is buried beneath the read more link on both the iOS App Store and the web.
Facebook currently holds a lot of data about users which it gets from account holders through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and any other Facebook-owned service.
However, it doesn’t currently have easy access to browsing habits and the type of websites that people visit. Using Onavo would change that.
The Onavo app today has more than 33 million installs across the iOS App Store and Google Play. Around 62 percent of those from Google Play – which could be another reason why Facebook is giving Onavo a push on iOS. The U.S. is currently the app’s largest user base, followed by India and Brazil.
While some users may feel okay about trading their privacy for a free VPN client, many users are likely unaware that Onavo Protect is specialized spyware for Facebook. And may feel misled by the marketing of the app in Facebook’s settings and on the App Store.
TechCrunch reports that there are an estimated 33 million users who have Onavo Protect installed, with 38% being on iOS and the remaining 62% on Android.