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Facebook yesterday removed its mobile VPN app called Onavo Protect from the iOS App Store after Apple declared the app violated the iPhone maker’s App Store guidelines on data collection.

For those who are unaware, Onavo Protect is a Facebook-owned Virtual Private Network (VPN) app that was primarily designed to help users keep tabs on their mobile data usage and acquired by Facebook from an Israeli analytics startup in 2013.

The so-called VPN app has been the source of controversy earlier this year, when the social media giant offered it as a free mobile VPN app, promised to “keep you and your data safe when you browse and share information on the web.”

However, Onavo Protect became a data collection tool for the Facebook helping company to track smartphone users’ activities across multiple different applications to learn insights about how Facebook users use third-party apps.

Why Did Apple Remove Facebook’s Free VPN App?

Now according to a new report from Wall Street Journal, Apple informed Facebook earlier this month that Onavo Protect violated its new App Store Guidelines, implemented in June restricting app developers from creating databases out of user information and sell it to third parties.

A discussion between Apple and Facebook about the app occurred last week, and Apple reportedly suggested Facebook to “voluntarily” remove Onavo Protect from the App Store, to which Facebook agreed.

images from Hacker News