Facebook Closes Its 'Market Research' Spying VPN, Onavo

Facebook logo on mobile

Facebook logo on mobile

Users (mostly teens, but older people, up to 35 years of age, too) were being paid $20 a month to use it, not knowing that Facebook was gathering a ton of data on them, through the use of the app. The Facebook Research app shared code with Onavo VPN, and the way the program operated was something that Apple was unhappy with, hence its removal from the App Store. Apple pulled that app and scolded Facebook for misusing developer certificates to distribute the app.

Big Brother Facebook is pretty much the opposite of why you'd use a VPN, and there's no way the social network's management didn't know this when they chose to acquire Onavo Protect and promote it through Facebook.

But following a scandal related to the collection of this data, Onavo will be removed from all mobile stores while no more research testers will be recruited to the Facebook research app. It existed to keep data private while you browsed the Web, but at the same time the app tracked you and sent information back to Facebook. Facebook reportedly was able to track user activity across apps. "We are shifting our focus to reward-based market research which means we're going to end the Onavo programme", a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. Lower down in the app description, Facebook said the app "may collect your mobile data traffic to help operate the Onavo service and improve Facebook Products". However, many believe that users were not adequately made aware of the data being collected.

Leicester City vs. Crystal Palace - Football Match Report
By a quirk of fate, Palace also boast the Premier League record for having the youngest boss, too. The Foxes are now winless in their last seven games with boss Puel under mounting pressure.

It's worth pointing out that by losing Onavo, Facebook also loses access to valuable market research data. However, the reports highlighted by TechCrunch also claimed that the company used this app for market research.

UPDATE: Facebook responded to us and confirmed the broad details of the TechCrunch story but didn't answer our questions about the Facebook Research program's continuing studies or Facebook's use of the data collected from Onavo.

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