Facebook's VPN protects your data by, ahem, collecting and tracking it

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Late past year, Facebook employees used an internal database of a sampling of mobile users' activity to observe that usage of Snap's flagship app, Snapchat, wasn't growing as quickly as before, people familiar with the matter said.

Users browsing through the Facebook mobile app's extended menu might notice a new category labelled 'Protect.' If users click through, they'll be given the option of downloading an app called Onavo Protect.

Given that there are tens of millions of Onavo Protect users, with 38 per cent of the user base on iOS devices, Facebook and Onavo have a lot of data at their fingertips.

"Onavo uses a VPN to establish a secure connection to direct all of your network communications through Onavo's servers". On the app store, Onavo's description reveals it is "a part of Facebook", and that it can be used to "improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and service people value, and build better experiences" - similar to the policy Facebook has in place for its other platforms.

Facebook is not a privacy company; it's Big Brother on PCP.

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Gowdy, unfortunately, appears to be focusing his investigation on the FBI, and not the White House. The FBI is not responsible for issuing security clearances - that's done through the White House.

Thankfully, it's not activated by default and requires you to navigate to the Protect tab in the app's settings, and then install the app yourself.

Facebook Inc. has started pushing a virtual private network app to some users, but it might be best to Mark Zuckerberg bearing gifts. The Onavo app is installed on much less iPhones than Androids, that is why Facebook seems to be pushing it more aggressively on iOS in the United States, but, as the app itself explains in its description, they are here to "improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and service people value, and build better experiences". This helps us improve and operate the Onavo service by analyzing your use of websites, apps, and data.

VPN apps usually shield users' online identity by masking their IP addresses and giving other security features when they visit websites. Doing so allows Facebook to monitor the online habits of people outside their use of the Facebook app itself.

CNBC, meanwhile, pointed out that Facebook is peddling this app "without first disclosing that it's owned by Facebook".

'We let people know about this activity and other ways that Onavo uses and analyses data before they download it'. The method is a way more secure of surfing the Internet when on public Wi-Fi networks. Disconnect Pro is a VPN that also blocks tracking and malware, so it may be a good alternative to Onavo Protect if that's what you're looking for.