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Bangkok. Thailand - March 12, 2016: Close-up of the App Store application icon on the screen of the iPhone 6.

Facebook Pulls IOS VPN App Following Apple’s Privacy Objections

Apple’s increasingly tougher stance on app privacy has led Facebook to pull one of its iOS apps. The Wall Street Journal has discovered that facebook is getting rid of its VPN- based Onavo protection program from the App Store after Apple warned the social network that it violated stricter policies (enacted in June) that restrict how and why software program collects data. Onava protects collection and analysis of every user activities beyond the app which was noticed that they violated the data collection limit, a source stated. It also broke a clause inside the developer agreement forbidding apps from using that records for both unrelated functions or advertising.

In a statement, it was made known that Apple did not confirm but said it “made it explicitly clear” that apps are not permitted in gathering data on installed applications for the purpose of marketing and analytics. They also made mention that apps should make their intention clear on what they intend to do with data gathered – meaning they should come clean and state  what data they collect and the reason behind them collecting such data.

Facebook voluntarily agreed to remove the application after Apple made proposition in a meeting on 16th of August, the insider stated. Onavo should have disappear around August 22nd , it should not be visible at this time of writing, by the time you read this it’s probably gone. The app will still work if you have it on your device but will not receive update and will no longer be available in the App Store.

This is not a stunning move. Apple chief Tim Cook has been critical of facebook’s privacy policies following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and many have interpreted the strong App Store policies as a direct response to that incident. Even with such incident Facebook was not shy that Onavo Protect was not a security app, prove shows it was more than that. It knew Snapchat was struggling in 2017 thanks to Onavo’s data collection, it’s just a matter of time before Apple challenges Facebook over their data gathering.

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