Facebooks VPN Service Shut Down Leads to Privacy Concerns

Facebooks VPN Service Shut Down Leads to Privacy Concerns

“Viewpoints” is Facebook’s new market research app. Months before, the company launched an Android collection app called Study. It was designed and monitored to see how long users are accessing other software at the google-owned operating system.

VPN concern

Controversial history is for both apps. The market research app shut down in January. A virtual private network provider (VPN) offered the app to Facebook. The app had a special software certificate that Apple gives out to businesses. It allows the distribution of internal apps to employees, but not the public.

But the social media used the software on teenager’s phones, as well as other survey participants for collecting data. Otherwise, the company could not ask for using its first app. For the app store, the app would have violated Apple’s rules. To distribute the software outside the standard iOS model, Facebook was using an Apple-provided enterprise certificate. To appease Apple, Facebook shut down the app, called Facebook Research VPN, when the iPhone maker pulled the company’s enterprise privileges. The company used a similar kind of VPN app called Onavo Protect last year because Apple said it violated the store’s data collection rules of the standard App. 

Currently, the company changed its research efforts on Viewpoints and Study. Facebook is not checking how you use third-party apps with Viewpoints. But it will give the users awards for testing new apps and filling out surveys. The survey of well-being is the first survey that’s available on Social Media, according to Facebook. The study takes about 15 minutes, and the user can earn 1000 points, TechCrunch says. Moreover, it will pay the survey taker $5 through PayPal.

The social media took critic for its previous market research apps. Now Viewpoints only targets people that are 18 and older that hold Facebook accounts within the US.


Privacy Concerns of Facebook

Privacy Concerns

Facebook shut down a VPN app called Onavo Protect.

Originally the VPN app was an Israeli analytics startup that focused on helping users check their data usage. The facebook acquired it in 2013 so that social media could monitor smartphone users’ lives outside its core apps. The VPN app became a data collection tool for Facebook. After that, Facebook could collect information about competition from other social apps. That was why social media acquired a company like WhatsApp.

The social media’s spokesperson told The Verge that Facebook made it quite clear how Onavo collected information. The social media always followed the rules, claims spokesperson.

Apple pressured Facebook into removing it but did not forcibly pull the app. Onavo Protect violated new privacy rules that were implemented in June. Moreover, Apple informed Facebook about it, says the Journal. New privacy rules restricted to create databases out of user information and sell it to third parties by developers.

iOS developer agreement regulates how the makers of the app use data outside the primary function of the software. This rule was also allegedly violated.

The discussion between Facebook and Apple happened last week, and the latter suggested for the social media to remove the app Onavo Protect from the App Store voluntarily.