Apple removes Facebook's deceptive, surveillant VPN from the App Store

Onavo (previously) was an Israeli startup that Facebook bought; the company has made a series of apps that masqueraded as utility software while gathering competitive intelligence that Facebook used to target its rivals by monitoring users' behavior.

The latest deceptive offering from Onavo is a VPN that nominally can be used to help Facebook users communicate in private on public networks; in reality, the Onavo VPN gathers data on users' behavior and also allows Facebook to monitor all traffic in and out of their devices.

Apple has removed Onavo from its App Store for violating the company's privacy policies.

In June, Facebook told Congress that it does not use Onavo data "for Facebook product uses" or to collect information about individuals, but it has admitted to using Onavo to gather broad information about which apps are popular and how people are using them, which it uses to improve its own products.

Facebook said in a statement that it's transparent with Onavo users.

"We've always been clear when people download Onavo about the information that is collected and how it is used," the company said. "As a developer on Apple's platform we follow the rules they've put in place."

Apple removes Facebook's Onavo security app from the App Store [Ari Levy/CNBC]

(via /.)