back to article Facebook pulls 'snoopy' Onavo VPN from Apple's App Store after falling foul of rules

Facebook has pulled its data-snaffling Onavo VPN from Apple's App Store after the iGiant said the tech violated recently tightened rules. Onavo is a free VPN app that pipes user traffic through Facebook systems under the pretext of protecting surfers from malware-tainted websites and other threats. The app, which the social …

  1. GnuTzu

    A Protection App the Slurps

    Oh, just insert deception/scam/hypocrisy rant here.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Unlikely the big vendors will go for an app which intercepts the CreepyFeed (r) and substitutes the data for garbage, so maybe a website with dodgy tracking software that simply sends back junk ?

    We've had ad-blockers, now we need data-destroyers ....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'The Android version of the app continues to be available, seemingly unmodified'

    That's the part that's most terrifying... Google, the world biggest slurper after Facebook, isn't going to enforce the same rule and bring a ban-hammer for Onavo. Another day, another unanswered 'Data-Crime...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'The Android version of the app continues to be available, seemingly unmodified'

      Biggert slurper *after* facebook ? They bloody well paved the way for Zuck and his kind.

      A pox on all their houses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'The Android version of the app continues to be available, seemingly unmodified'

        Regardless of which of the two can claim "first", it would be pretty hypocritical of Google to shut down this app given that it isn't doing anything Google itself isn't doing. Well, other than the "hey, that personal information is OUR personal information, hands off!" defense, which isn't going to make them look all that good.

        1. JohnFen

          Re: 'The Android version of the app continues to be available, seemingly unmodified'

          Wait, Google is making a trojan horse "VPN" app too??

  4. Teiwaz


    It can hardly be called a VPN as in Virtual Private, unless they're using 'virtual' in the 'almost but not quite entirely unlike' way.

    I'm agog as to why anyone with an ounce of sense would 'buy into' this.

    It's like baby eating trolls setting up a nursery and babysitting service.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    When will people understand that anything related to FaceBook has only one job, which is reporting everything to FaceBook ?

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      You wouldn't believe how pissy people get when they send me a FB link and I ask "what's the non-fb link?"

      There's a lot of businesses too lazy to set up a real website instead of a FB page, which at least shows they're too amateur to get my money. That's a useful indicator, at least.

      1. JohnFen

        I just tell them "I'm sorry, I'm not able to see Facebook pages" and leave it at that. If they want me to see something badly enough, then it's on them to find a real link to it.

        With businesses, I say something similar. If they tell me to check their Facebook page, I tell them I can't, and if Facebook is their only presence then they are invisible to me online. Fortunately, more and more business are either moving away from Facebook or are setting up real websites in addition to Facebook, so this doesn't happen as much as it used to.

  6. JohnFen

    Not free

    "Onavo is a free VPN app"

    No, it isn't. You're paying for it by allowing yourself to be surveilled.

  7. VeganVegan

    "Sugar Mountain"

    Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

    With the barkers and the colored balloons,

    You're the product on Sugar Mountain

    Though you're thinking that

    you're leaving there too soon,

    You're leaving there too soon.

    It's so noisy at the fair

    But all your friends are there

    And the candy floss you had

    And your mother and your dad.

    prophetic verses by Neil Young, 1964

    20 years before SugarMountain was born

    1. GnuTzu

      Re: "Sugar Mountain" -- and "I Am The Slime"

      I think you paraphrased that a bit. Another one that needs revision for these times is Zappa's "I Am The Slime"

      Excerpt (off the top of my head):

      I may be vile and pernicious, but you can't look away.

      I make you think I'm delicious with the things that I say.


      You will obey me while I lead you.

      Don't go for help; no one will head you.

      Your mind is totally controlled.

      I has been pressed into my mold,

      and you will do as you are told,

      until the rights to you are are sold.

      -- Frank Zappa, "I Am The Slime"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Sugar Mountain"

      Another prophetic song that is not as subtle is from the mighty Priest from their 1982 song: "Electric Eye".

      Electric Eye

      Judas Priest

      Up here in space

      I'm looking down on you

      My lasers trace

      Everything you do

      You think you've private lives

      Think nothing of the kind

      There is no true escape

      I'm watching all the time

      I'm made of metal

      My circuits gleam

      I am perpetual

      I keep the country clean

      I'm elected electric spy

      I'm protected electric eye

      Always in focus

      You can't feel my stare

      I zoom into you

      You don't know I'm there

      I take a pride in probing all your secret moves

      My tearless retina takes pictures that can prove

  8. IGnatius T Foobar !


    F*c*book is toxic and manipulative and cannot be trusted for *anything*. Anyone foolish enough to install this app deserves what they get.

  9. fidodogbreath

    Out of sympathy

    Facebook's venality and ruthless tactics have been widely reported in general media all over the world.

    For anyone who continues to use Facebook apps, the resulting surveillance and privacy loss are the price of ignorance.

  10. Chris G

    P.T.Barnum was right

    There's one born every minute and all of them seem to sign up to farceboook.

    I am still inclined to think that Zuck is a very rich NSA/CIA asset, he makes Hoover look like a rank amateur.

  11. NanoMeter

    A wolf in sheep's clothing

  12. HamsterNet


    Seems Apple is starting to push privacy as their USP. Whilst themselves still slurp, seem apple maps, Siri etc, they do at least "seem" to keep it to themselves and not flog it off to anybody with a few $.

    I'm expecting to see more and more of a push for privacy on Apple devices and app store as this becomes a more perceived issue to the plebs.

    As for why anybody would use this, its a VPN that they are told helps keep them "Private" online and that they should use one. Its aimed right at those who are keen on security but not from the tech background.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    FB puts spyware in security app, gets a little slap. If a kid did this they would be dragged into jail with the media beating him on the head all the way there. Someone at FB needs to do time for this crap just like normal people would. Kill Corporate Privilege.

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