It is believed that using a VPN is one of the best ways of protecting your privacy. And while this might be generally true, it appears that certain VPN apps are taking advantage of their users’ data.
You certainly noticed the free VPN apps available on both Google’s Play Store and the App Store. Metric Labs’ Top10VPN decided to investigate the top VPN providers. And what they discovered was rather disturbing.
It appears that 59 per cent of those investigated were based in the People’s Republic of China or at least Chinese-backed. More than that, 86 per cent has severe privacy problems, with security policies which did not disclose how the data is being sued.
This could be an even bigger problem for Chinese users. In China VPNs can be very useful for those trying to evade censorship. This might be very risky for them. VPNs bridge network traffic, which means that they could snoop on you. Your data could be collected without users knowing. VPN’s could also add ads or other dangerous additions.
“It was often very challenging to verify who was actually behind these VPN apps, due to the great lengths companies went to in order to hide their ultimate ownership, and far beyond the means of the typical consumer to discover,” explained head of research Simon Migliano.
The team also noticed that 83 per cent of their customer support requests were ignored. In addition to that, 52 per cent of the customer support emails were in fact personal accounts.
“It is disturbing that so few of these companies even had a website while those that did avoided revealing any information about themselves and yet were able to gain credibility by virtue of being approved by Apple and Google for listing in their app stores,” Migliano said.
Nora Reynolds is a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior, writing about science in general. She also likes to try new gadgets and sports about the AI new era.