Facebook’s Onavo Protect app disappears from Apple App Store

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Acquired by Facebook in 2013, Onavo Protect app is no longer available on Apple App Store. As per the information revealed, Apple had asked the social media giant Facebook to remove its VPN-based Onavo Protect app from the App Store.

Onavo Protect on App Store
Onavo Protect on App Store

Founded in 2010, Tel Aviv-based mobile analytics company Onavo was acquired by Facebook in 2013. As per the official website, “Onavo Protect for iPhone and iPad helps keep you and your data safe when you go online, by blocking potentially harmful websites and securing your personal information.” Onavo lets users access a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to browse the web and download apps with a greater degree of privacy.

As per the Apple’s privacy policy, the apps aren’t allowed to collect data about the list of installed apps for the sake of analytics and marketing. It further mentions that the apps must clearly declare what kind of data they are taking and how they are using the collected information from the user. These privacy rules restrict the developer’s ability to create databases out of user information and sell it to third-parties. These policies came into force in June this year.

Onavo Protect app’s collection and analysis of user activity violated the information collection policies of Apple. Earlier, Facebook had agreed to have been using Onavo to gather broad information about which apps are popular and how people are using them, however, it had declined to use the data collected by Onavo for Facebook product uses.

In a meeting held last week, Apple had apprised Facebook of the policy violation by its Onavo Protect app. Later, Facebook voluntarily agreed to remove the app from the App Store. Facebook said, “We’ve always been clear when people download Onavo about the information that is collected and how it is used. As a developer on Apple’s platform, we follow the rules they’ve put in place.”

The Onavo Protect app is no longer available on the App Store, however, those users having the app installed in their devices can still use it. Such users will no longer receive updates for the app. However, the app remains available to the Android users.