A new analysis of Facebook’s virtual private network (VPN) service Protect has revealed the social networking giant may be using the supposed privacy tool to collect more data from its user base.
Security researcher Will Strafach dove into the code behind the Protect VPN app for iPhone and discovered the service sends a significant amount of data back to Facebook that provides the company with insight into how users are making use of the application.
According to the security expert, Protect VPNdeveloped by Onavo, which was acquired by Facebook in 2013uses a “Packet Tunnel Provider” app extension that runs as long as the VPN is connected. This packet tunnel is used to periodically send certain information about app usage to Facebook.
Among the information collected and provided to Facebook: