Could the owners of the iOS Freedom app be snooping on its users, seeing what sites they browse or even what info they send or receive?

I would really like to use this productivity enhancing app, but I am afraid that there might be some privacy concerns.

Technically I think they use a VPN solution on the iPhone to be able to block routes to for instance chosen productivity stealers such as Facebook.com.

I'd love to hear some feedback from security/privacy experts out there.

According to this info from their homesite they can't be snooping: http://support.freedom.to/article/114-freedom-privacy-questions-answers

1 Answer 1


Yes, of course they could be. If they are to believed (which I do), they are just using a 'local VPN' which is pretty common in ad blocking apps on iOS. These apps have the full capability to tunnel your data off to wherever and you'd be none the wiser. They use the iOS VPN extension system so they can decide if they want to block or drop a connection. The VPNs, unless you install a certificate, cannot decrypt your SSL traffic because it is encrypted before it reaches the VPN interface.

  • I didn't get the part with "unless you install a certificate, cannot decrypt your SSL traffic because it is encrypted before it reaches the VPN interface".
    – MacProGirl
    Feb 19, 2018 at 22:20
  • Also, do you mean that any ad blocker on iOS have the same privacy concerns? Btw, sorry for late commenting back!
    – MacProGirl
    Feb 19, 2018 at 22:21
  • No, not ever ad blocker on iOS has these concerns. Nearly all web traffic is already encrypted with TLS (the later version of the broken SSL). Think HTTPS. No one but the original certificate holder can decrypt your communications. If, however, you install a 'root' certificate (aka a certificate from which all other certs can be derived) then the VPN can create 'valid' certificates for every website that your device trusts. Your device then sends data encrypted but now the VPN server can also decrypt the underlying traffic too. If I answered your question could you accept my answer?
    – Allison
    Feb 19, 2018 at 22:39
  • I don't know anything about how certificates play a role here. Original certificate or root certificate is not something I am familiar with. I just need to know whether sensitive info such as login and password are safe using ad blockers or apps such as Freedom on ios. I appreciate all info but haven't grasped that essential part yet.
    – MacProGirl
    Apr 9, 2018 at 23:12

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