A few weeks ago, TechCrunch revealed that Facebook is mining data from teens using a research app that allowed the company to monitor the web browsing patterns of the users. The dubious ‘research’ app was based on the infamous Onavo VPN app owned by Facebook, which was pulled down from the iOS App Store last year for logging users’ data.
Now, the social media company has said that it is shutting down the Onavo VPN app and the app will be removed from Google Play Store. The app will stop recording user data immediately and will only render Virtual Private Network services for some time until users find a replacement.
According to a spokesperson, “Market research helps companies build better products for people. We are shifting our focus to reward-based market research which means we’re going to end the Onavo program.”
Facebook has also stopped recruiting new users for its research app that is still available on the Google Play Store. The app was pulled down from the Apple App Store for violating the iPhone maker’s Enterprise Certificate program. Apple also canceled Facebook’s Enterprise Certificate for a brief period of time as a punishment.
Facebook’s Onavo caused a huge controversy when it was revealed that it is collecting “time you spend using apps, mobile and wi-fi data you use per app, the websites you visit and your country, device and network type.”