Facebook to yank Onavo data-security app from Apple store
Facebook Inc. plans to pull its data-security app from Apple Inc.’s app store after the iPhone maker ruled that the service violated its data-collection policies, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Apple’s AAPL, +0.00% decision widens the schism between the two tech giants over privacy and is a blow to Facebook FB, +0.59% , which has used data gathered through the app to track rivals and scope out new product categories. The app, called Onavo Protect, has been available free download through Apple’s app store for years, with updates regularly approved by Apple’s app-review board.
Onavo allows users to create a virtual private network that redirects internet traffic to a private server managed by Facebook. The app, which bills itself as a way to “keep you and your data safe,” also alerts users when they visit potentially malicious sites. Facebook is able to collect and analyze Onavo users’ activity to get a picture of how people use their phones beyond Facebook’s apps.
Earlier this month, Apple officials informed Facebook that the app violated new rules outlined in June designed to limit data collection by app developers, the person familiar with the situation said. Apple informed Facebook that Onavo also violated a part of its developer agreement that prevents apps from using data in ways that go beyond what is directly relevant to the app or to provide advertising, the person added.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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