Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Tech: This is how Facebook spies on you even if you don’t use Facebook

|BY NADIA HLEB|05 September, 2017|

Facebook knows what millions of people are up to on their phones… even if they don’t use social media. Or at least that’s what new info from The Wall Street Journal alleges.

Info that Facebook extracts using this method is so accurate that it’s helped the company make key decisions in recent years, such as buying WhatsApp and copying Snapchat’s Stories feature.
Just so you get the idea, thanks to this method, Facebook knows how many messages are sent every day from Snapchat, its rival.
Where does Facebook get this data? From Onavo Protect, a free VPN app that promises “to keep your data safe when you go online.” Facebook bought its creators, and the app, in 2013.

The app is available for both Android and IOS, and has already been downloaded by an estimated 24 million users.
According to sources that know the system behind the app, every time somebody connects to Onavo Protect from his/her cell phoneOnavo redirects traffic to Facebook’s servers. This person’s browsing details are stored in a database that a Facebook team later analyzes.
According to typical terms and conditions of use, Onavo claims to “analyze information from your cell phone data and app usage” and that it may share this information with its “affiliates.” But nobody reads the fine print.


Facebook hasn’t commented on this. However, this method would explain how the company knew of Snapchat Stories’s big impact long before Snapchat published the results.
Source: Softonic.com