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Apple Boots Facebook’s Onavo Protect From Its App Store Over Data Collection Fears

Apple has decided to protect its users from Onavo Protect, a Facebook-owned app that’s designed to send all of a user’s mobile data through a Facebook-controlled virtual private network (VPN), according to a Wall Street Journal report.

In June, Apple updated its app store rules to limit unnecessary data collection by app developers. Along with Google and Facebook, Apple is under scrutiny from lawmakers around the world for its user privacy practices.

Onavo allowed Facebook to monitor non-Facebook Internet use and see which rivals might be threats or useful buys.

In exchange, it offered users two features: reducing background data usage when users were on cellular networks, and routing all traffic through Facebook servers, to block “online threats when browsing the web.”

Apple suggested Facebook remove the Onavo app voluntarily, the Journal reported.

In a statement sent to TechCrunch, Apple said: “With the latest update to our guidelines, we made it explicitly clear that apps should not collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing and must make it clear what user data will be collected and how it will be used.”

Facebook told the Wall Street Journal that it has “always been clear” about the information collected and how it is used, but it still agreed to remove the app.