By Carlo Versano
Apple instructed Facebook to remove an app that lets users redirect their mobile data through a VPN managed by Facebook servers, saying the software violated new rules Apple put in place to limit the data developers can collect.
The iPhone maker's demand to remove Onavo Protect ー which is ostensibly designed to protect user privacy ー for being too broad in how it tracks those users is a blow to Facebook as the social media giant grapples with new controversies related to its ad model, privacy, and the distortion of the platform by bad actors. The story was first reported late Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal.
Apple said in a statement that it "made it explicitly clear that apps should not collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing and must make it clear what user data will be collected and how it will be used.”
Facebook told the Journal, “We’ve always been clear when people download Onavo about the information that is collected and how it is use."
The company also removed another app, mostly out of use since 2012, that it said may have mishandled the personal data of about 4 million users. The "myPersonality" app is the second casualty of Facebook's app auditing process, which it instituted amid the fallout from Cambridge Analytica.
Meanwhile, Facebook's partnership lead Dan Rose, one of the company's first executives, announced Wednesday that he is leaving the company. His departure comes after communications chief Elliot Schrage vacated his post in July after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and chief security officer Alex Stamos stepped down at the start of this month.