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How Facebook handles the competition

August 10, 2017.

Menlo Park, CA, USA.

Facebook World Headquarters. Menlo Park, CA, USA. © iStock.

Betsy Morris and Deepa Seetharaman, two reporters for the Wall Street Journal, revealed that Facebook is monitoring potential rivals, including new startups with exceptional performance, thanks to an in-house database. Facebook acquired the database when it purchased Onavo, a young Israeli company. Onavo’s application, Onavo Protect, guarantees users full data protection while routing traffic through a VPN. Then, it gives Facebook a highly-detailed report on clients’ use of their phones, tracking their use of applications. For example, Facebook decided to purchase WhatsApp based on data collected through Onavo Protect. In other words, Facebook is using a VPN application that is supposed to protect users’ privacy to analyze their use of applications, hence violating their privacy. As a general rule, beware of “free” VPNs. If something is free, it means you’re the product.

The Wall Street Journal, “The new copycats: how Facebook squashes competition from startups.”