Facebook deceived users over its so-called free VPN Onavo

Free VPN Onavo

The free VPN Onavo was a Facebook plot to track users web movements and app use outside Facebook and its many affiliates.

We have called out the free VPN Onavo so many times. There is indisputable proof that the so-called free VPN Onavo from Facebook took private browsing data, logs, websites visited, apps and time in use, and whatever else it wanted (as it had root-access). It added this to its secret user profiles.

This data also supports Facebook’s market research activities, including identifying potential future acquisition targets.

The ACCC alleges, Onavo Protect collected, aggregated and used significant amounts of users’ activity data for Facebook’s commercial benefit.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said “Consumers use VPN services because they care about their online privacy. This is what this Facebook product claimed to offer. In fact, Onavo channelled significant volumes of their activity data straight back to Facebook.”

“Through Onavo Protect, Facebook was collecting and using the very detailed and valuable activity data of thousands of Australian consumers. It used this for its commercial purposes. We believe this is completely contrary to the promise of protection, secrecy and privacy central to Facebook’s promotion of this app,”.

“We believe that the conduct deprived Australian consumers of the opportunity to make an informed choice about the collection and use of their activity data by Facebook and Onavo.”

free VPN Onavo

GadgetGuy’s take

Never use a free VPN and especially one from any big tech company

Fact: Most free VPNs are developed in China, and data is readily available to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The data identifies website visits and can lead to blackmail, sexploitation, and conversion to the CCPs aims. A free VPN has complete root-level access to your device so it can do anything – like load other spyware or malware.

We first reported the free VPN Onavo as dodgy spyware VPN in February 2018. We carefully analysed its privacy policy to reveal a litany of issues and exceptions that gave Facebook free reign over your so-called ‘secret and safe data’.

Of course, the ACCC action is yet to be determined by the Federal Court and damages awarded bit Rod Sims and crew have a pretty good nose for foul-smelling things.

# Delete Facebook