Facebook Aims To Become World’s Biggest VPN Provider

Facebook has added a new option to its mobile app which points users to download Onavo Protect, in order to push this VPN service -- which it bought up some five years back -- although the social network's motives appear quite different to the traditional VPN provider.

First off, let's clarify that this is happening according to TechCrunch, which spotted the new 'Protect' option over in the US, on Facebook's iOS app only (not Android). As the site observes, this may mean the social network is only testing the feature at this point with a limited user base over in the States. (Onavo has also been previously pushed in testing over in the UK).

If you click on Protect in the navigation menu, you'll get taken straight through to the App Store listing for the 'Onavo Protect -- VPN Security' product, which you can obviously install from there.

On the face of it, like any other VPN product, Onavo is designed to keep you more secure online by encrypting the data you transmit over your internet connection (or indeed someone else's connection, like public Wi-Fi which is potentially insecure).

VPNs are also traditionally designed to maintain your anonymity and privacy online, but notably in Onavo Protect's store listing, there's no talk of privacy.

Instead, the app blurb states: "To provide this [protection], Onavo uses a VPN to establish a secure connection to direct all of your network communications through Onavo's servers. As part of this process, Onavo collects your mobile data traffic.

"This helps us improve and operate the Onavo service by analyzing your use of websites, apps and data. Because we're part of Facebook, we also use this info to improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and services people value, and build better experiences."

Precious Data

In other words, rather than maintaining your...

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