Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Facebook suspends around 200 apps over potential data misuse

Facebook suspends around 200 apps over potential data misuse

Facebook announced that it has suspended around 200 apps as part of its ongoing investigation of third-party apps which could have misused users' data.

In the case of Cambridge Analytica, which had been contracted to work for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Facebook says it had been assured the data the firm had obtained was deleted.

Thousands of apps have already been investigated by internal and external experts.

A report from New Scientist finds that the myPersonality app had collected and shared the personal information for as many as three million users who had installed the app on their Facebook profile.

Facebook's next step is to conduct a "thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data" and will delete any app that did.

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The company is examining apps that had access to user data before the platform's policies changed in 2014, reducing the information they could access. Since then, Zuckerburg and the Facebook team have been reviewing policies and have been investigating other apps that may be harvesting large amounts of user data.

Even though Facebook is trying to look transparent, it's not clear how many apps will be investigated in what period of time. There, you'll be able to see which apps you now allow to access your Facebook data - as well as which apps you've removed and apps that formerly had access to your data - and can then revoke privileges accordingly. It's not entirely certain that these apps are actually at fault, but the social media company has suspended them pending a more extensive investigation.

The investigation net has been cast beyond Cambridge Analytica which allegedly exploited Facebook data vulnerabilities to farm user data.

Annouced on Monday, the social network's announced mass freezing of developers is its first major enforcement action since it started to audit apps in March to uncover companies that might have stolen data. The myPersonality database served as the inspiration for the app built by Aleksandr Kogan, which is at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

"We are investing heavily to make sure this investigation is as thorough and timely as possible".

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