Facebook’s Onavo Protect VPN app pulled from Apple App Store

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Credit: https://thenextweb.com/facebook/2018/08/23/facebook-pulls-its-onavo-protect-vpn-app-from-apples-app-store/

Is Facebook trying too hard to win back the hearts of users who felt letdown over the Cambridge Analytical data issue? The company in the last few months have been doing a lot in the area of convincing users that their data is safe with it. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook has pulled its Onavo Protect VPN app for iOS from the App Store. This followed previous complains made by Apple to the effect that the app violated its policies.

Onavo Protect VPN was acquired by Facebook five years ago. According to the developers, the app offered protection to users while browsing potentially harmful sites. It also warned them [users] about phishing scams, and prevent hackers from monitoring their web traffic.

While Onavo did all that, it also went as far as gathering user data into databases and sell it to third-party companies—a move viewed as working against Apple’s privacy policy.

While the Onavo app will continue to run on devices where it is already installed, new users will not be able to access or download it via the Apple App Store. Going forward, users who already have it installed on their phones will no longer be able to update the app.

Perhaps, I should advise all users looking for free alternative VPN app to consider settling for paid versions to avoid running into troubled waters. If you value your privacy so much [and why should you not?], then take your time to search for a premium VPN app—there are a few good ones too.

While Apple may not have forced Facebook to remove the app from its app store, the social media giant may have done so based on mounting pressure from the former.

Android users, however, according to WSJ, can continue using the app since its version is still on the Play Store.

In other news, Facebook’s rumored smart assistant Aloha is gradually taking shape.

Aloha is being built to pair a video chat service with an AI assistant. A picture of the prototype was posted on Twitter by Jane Manchun Wong, a famous and highly intelligent reverse engineer who has her footprints in several hidden discoveries in Facebook and other popular apps.

The only thing that works at the moment is the UI, with Wong confirming to TNW that Aloha’s full features are currently only available to users who can authenticate with Facebook employee account. In other words, Aloha is pretty much a work in progress, and nothing much can be attached to it at the moment.

Early signs of Facebook’s interest in artificial intelligence started manifesting more than a year ago when it launched the ‘M’ AI. The social media giant had announced that “M” will suggest features to use during conversation.

The will suggest or recommend a “bye-bye” GIF if someone is saying goodbye for example or suggest its payments feature if you write “You owe me $20” during conversation.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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