Facebook company creates app that collects information about installed apps

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Onavo, a company acquired by Facebook in 2013 and previously discredited for its VPN service, has released a new Android app for locking other apps. The terms state that this app collects information about other installed apps.

The addition of the Bolt App Lock app to the Play Store was noted by the TechCrunch site, which references the data collection mention. It says, “We collect data about your mobile device and the apps installed on it. This includes information about when those apps are used, as well as device and network information.” This information would be necessary for Bolt App Lock to work and to improve its service.

It further states, “Because we are part of Facebook, we also use this information to improve Facebook services and products, gain insights into products and services that people appreciate, and build a better experience.” The addition of this passage is noteworthy, as a report from The Wall Street Journal last year claimed that Facebook was using Onavo’s previously released VPN service to monitor the popularity of competitor Snapchat. The free vpn app had 24 million downloads at the time.

The terms of that app contained passages similar to those of the new app, with the addition, for example, that the content of information sent via the Facebook servers could also be collected. The VPN app was recently brought to the attention of iOS users by Facebook with the mention of a ‘Protect’ option in its app’s menu. TechCrunch has asked Facebook to promote Bolt App Lock in the same way, but received no response.

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