Facebook pushes security app (that it owns) that tracks users’ mobile usage

Mark Zuckerberg
FILE - In this April 18, 2017 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The company said it was implementing new methods of reaching out to people in real time when they go online and threaten to take their own lives, and will experiment with other ways of helping people. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

MENLO PARK, CA (WCMH/NBC4i) — Facebook is quietly pushing users to protect themselves by downloading an app the company owns, that tracks data usage.

According to CNBC, the app, called Onavo Protect, isn’t being touted by the company that it’s owned by Facebook.

Onavo Protect provides users with a virtual private network, which is considered a more secure way to use public Wi-Fi networks.

However, the app also tracks users’ data that it shares with Facebook “including the applications installed on your device, your use of those applications, the websites you visit and the amount of data you use,” according to its own privacy policies.

Facebook could use that information to track what users do online, even when they’re not on one of its websites, according to CNBC.

The company could also find out how apps made by its rivals, such as Snap and Twitter, are being used.

Facebook, which bought the Israeli security company in 2013, now points to its software in a tab in its mobile app marked “Protect.”