Free VPNs aren't "free". You often end up paying for them with the private data many use them to protect in the first place. Facebook is just the latest case in point. Or, at least it was.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Good on Apple, though pity it wasn't much, much sooner. I don't know if Facebook though it was being clever or was simply being shameless. IOS isn't the platform for undisclosed data snooping.
Update: Here's how Onavo/Facebook itself described the activity:
Since there's no permission for users to grant or deny — iOS doesn't allow this activity directly so Facebook used the VPN to circumvent the built-in privacy protection — unless you read the fine print, it's unlikely you even knew you were being spied on.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.