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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday February 13 2018, @03:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the who-do-you-trust dept.

Facebook's mobile app is promoting a VPN service from a company that it acquired in 2013. The hard-to-find privacy policy and non-disclosure of Facebook's ownership are setting off alarm bells:

Facebook is now offering some mobile app users a wireless-networking app without first disclosing that it's owned by Facebook, or that it collects information for the social networking company.

The app, Onavo Protect, provides users with a virtual private network, or VPN. Typically, a VPN cloaks the user's identity and adds other security features, making it a more secure way to get online, particularly when using public Wi-Fi networks.

Yet the Onavo app also tracks data that it shares with Facebook and others, "including the applications installed on your device, your use of those applications, the websites you visit and the amount of data you use," according to its own privacy policies.

Also at TechCrunch and Gizmodo.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by lgsoynews on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:09PM (5 children)

    by lgsoynews (1235) on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:09PM (#637173)

    First there was the VPN as in Virtual Private Network.

    Then they invented the "Virtual" Private Network, where privacy features really are of the virtual kind.

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  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:14PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:14PM (#637178)

    A Virtual-Privacy Network if you will.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:55PM (#637193)

      Virtually private. Close, but no cigar.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13 2018, @04:59PM (#637194)

      I think Virtual "Private" Network fits a little better. It's "private." We "promise" not to sell your data to our corporate "partners." Really. You can "trust" us.

      Also, I "can't" think of any way to abuse this such that it makes Facebook have a Very Bad Day. There are certain types of data they don't want seemingly being download/uploaded over their IP space. I also "can't" think of any way to fully anonymize the back-end of the VPN such that it's infeasible to trace who is actually pushing the data over Facebook's connection.

      Nope. "Can't" think of any way to do that at all. It's "completely" "impossible."

      Facebook has some very "smart" people working for them if they think this is a good idea that won't backfire. Someone out there will do it for the lulz if for no other reason.

  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday February 13 2018, @07:41PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Tuesday February 13 2018, @07:41PM (#637238) Journal

    Violating Privacy Network

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday February 16 2018, @07:03AM

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday February 16 2018, @07:03AM (#638720) Homepage
    But a VPN was never supposed to be this.
    A VPN was for including trusted hosts onto a mutually trusted local network. Unsniffably (apart from traffic shaping.)

    These "VPN" services include none of the trust relationships. They're simply proxies, nothing more.
    --
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves