Onavo Protect

Facebook’s Onavo Protect VPN is Designed to Invade Your Privacy

Facebook recently unveiled a new feature in its app. Big whoop, right? Well, turns out it indeed is a big whoop, but of a negative type.

The new feature is tucked away under settings in the navigation menu titled “Protect”. Since clicking “Protect” redirects Facebook users to the “Onavo Protect – VPN Security” app in the App Store, we are assuming that the rollout is on a limited scale, means for iOS users for the time being.

Onavo Protect

Looking back at Facebook’s history, it won’t be long before a full rollout takes place on other platforms. As of now, it’s uncertain what percentage of Facebook’s user base can access the option.

Facebook is pushing its data-tracking Onavo VPN within its main mobile app


Facebook acquired Onavo back in 2013, and it’s not the first time Onavo’s Protect has appeared in the Facebook app. Previously, it was seen by Facebook users in the UK in 2016.

What is Onavo Protect?

Onavo Protect is a VPN app that claims to hide user’s online identity and adds security features, making it a secure way to connect on unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Why shouldn’t you use Onavo Protect?

The app tracks a user’s data and shares it with Facebook and other stakeholders. What data? Well, according to Onavo’s own privacy policy – the data includes your online activities, the applications installed on your device, your use of those applications, the websites you visit and the amount of data you use.

Facebook’s Onavo Gives Social-Media Firm Inside Peek at Rivals’ Users

The Wall Street Journal

What happens to that data?

Facebook can use that data to monitor your online activities and track you even when you’re not using their application. Furthermore, Facebook can also find out how other competing apps like Snapchat and Twitter are being used.

This gives Facebook an edge in terms of identifying new trends across the bigger mobile ecosystem. For example, Facebook gets a heads up regarding apps that are preferred by users by recording the time spent by users on that particular app. This, in turn, translates into predicting future trends and cashing in on them well ahead of the competition.

Additionally, Facebook can also see which apps are introducing new features that would perform exponentially on Facebook. Facebook can then incorporate those features into its platform and tweak it fashionably to garner more interest.

Facebook hasn’t yet given a comment on the new addition of Onavo in its main app, nonetheless, we’ll update this post with more information as it is revealed.

Till then, it’s best to not use the Onavo Protect feature until Facebook gives a clear understanding of the feature, its abilities, and its repercussions. Don’t forget to check back and please share your opinions with other users.

Ather Owais is a tech and cyber security enthusiast, and a Kodi expert. He follows technological trends and their impact on today's digital era.

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