Even more of a problem for Facebook. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has sued Facebook, claiming that the Onavo VPN application was used to spy on users for commercial purposes.
The ACCC blames Facebook for false, misleading behavior towards thousands of Australian consumers, as in promoting the Onavo Protect app, it promised to keep users' personal data private, protected and confidential, and would not use it for any other purpose. But they were used to help Facebook's business.
According to ACCC President Rod Sims: “Through Onavo Protect, Facebook collects and uses the very detailed and valuable personal data of thousands of Australian consumers for its own commercial purposes, which we believe is completely contrary to the promise of protection. privacy, which was central to promoting this application "
"Consumers often use VPN services because they are interested in their internet privacy, and this is what Facebook claims it offers. In fact, Onavo Protect channeled significant volumes of personal activity data directly into Facebook. "
"We believe the behavior deprives Australian consumers of the opportunity to make an informed choice about the collection and use of their personal activity data by Facebook and Onavo," Sims added.
The ACCC claims that between February 1, 2016 and October 2017, Facebook and its subsidiaries Facebook Israel Ltd and Onavo, Inc. misled Australian consumers by falsely presenting the free Onavo Protect app.
The regulator says it is seeking statements and fines.
Facebook announced last year that it would close the Onavo Protect app, following a reaction to how it used the VPN app it acquired in 2013.
Internal Facebook documents released in 2018 by the UK parliament (seized as part of an online misinformation investigation) show the tech giant using Onavo as a source to understand which third parties users use to download and interact .
Data gathered through Onavo revealed that WhatsApp is a competitive threat to Facebook Messenger. Shortly after gaining this knowledge, the Facebook has allocated $ 19 billion to acquire the rival messaging application.
And legal conflicts hold up well
Alternatively, Facebook is suing in Germany, where the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) is pushing for a case that could set limits on how Facebook can combine data between its various services.
This month, the FCO also announced that it was investigating Facebook linking the use of the latest Oculus VR to a Facebook account, after saying that new Oculus users must have a Facebook account to use it. This summer Facebook also said that it will terminate support for existing Oculus accounts by 2023.