Facebook Removes Android Security App After It Got Criticized For Unfair Collection Of Private Data

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Facebook has removed an app from the Google Play Store for issues relating to privacy.
Facebook Removes Android Security App After It Got Criticized For Unfair Collection Of Private Data
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook boss)

Facebook, on Friday, removed a new Android App known as Bolt Lock App, from the Google Play Store. This removal came about after critics said that the app unfairly collected app usage data and sent it back to Facebook.

Already, before then, the security app had been tagged as ‘deceptive’, and some cybersecurity experts had warned users not to install it.

Bolt Lock App was made by Facebook’s Onavo subsidiary. It was supposedly created to provide some security for users when using third-party apps containing sensitive information.

This app was discreetly released and made available on the Google Play Store on Monday, March 5, 2018, before getting removed on Friday, March 9, 2018. However, a Facebook spokesperson reported that it was simply “a small, brief test.”

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Just as some other lock apps work, Bolt Lock App allowed users to lock other applications on their phones, requiring a passcode or fingerprint to unlock them.

While this may seem totally pure and legit, the disclaimer that says the app collects information on when and how users open those apps, and sends this to Facebook, is buried in the app’s description. Furthermore, this disclaimer can only be seen after one taps “Read more”.

In all, Bolt Lock App seemed not to have gotten many downloads anyway; reports from app analytics company, SensorTower, revealed that the app had less than 5,000 downloads before it got removed.


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