Apple has recently changed the privacy guidelines for App Store which now restricts apps from collecting data on users’ friends and other contacts. This crackdown could result in banning of Facebook’s controversial Onavo Protect app – known for spying on user activities.
With the new policies in effect, the iPhone maker will be able to limit how developers use information about Apple device owners’ friends and other contacts and prevent sharing of data extracted without explicit consent.
Bloomberg published an article suggesting that the changes in the App Store guidelines largely seem to target Facebook’s Onavo:
“Apple’s new guidelines “sound like they’re almost written in response to what Onavo and others have been doing,” said Will Strafach, a researcher who has studied Onavo Protect and focuses on the security of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system.”
Onavo Protect is a VPN service which provides anonymity to users from service providers, but it is merely an elaborate coverup to suck massive amounts of data and track device usage pattern of users who have enabled it.
The recently published 450-page book with answers from CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony also confirmed that Facebook uses Onavo’s broad data sets to analyze what types of apps are in demand and how people are using them.
The company also said that it does not misuse the collected data by linking it to individual profiles, but it’s not exactly a secret that Facebook has benefitted from the data harvested by Onavo app such as in the case of $19 billion acquisition of Whatsapp.
Data collected from Onavo has also helped the social media giant to formulate strategies to compete with its rival like Twitter and in revamping Instagram to compete with Snapchat.
The new policies do give Apple sufficient reasons to remove the Onavo app from its platform, but it is still available on the App Store despite the introduction of new rules last week.