Facebook says it has suspended 200 apps for possible misuse of data

Facebook suspended apps that may have misused personal information

Announcing the investigation in March, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that any developers who failed or refused to comply with the audit would be banned from the platform. The second phase consists of investigating each of the "suspicious" apps one by one, as described above.

Facebook has suspended 200 apps for possible misuse of user data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Cambridge Analytica was a political consultancy firm, which not only improperly obtained personal user data through various apps on Facebook, but allegedly used it to understand and influence voters in the 2016 Presidential election-with many citizens confident it contributed to Donald Trump's election.

Thousands of apps have already been screened, and around 200 apps have already been suspended for either rejecting the RFI or violating data access policies. Clicking the link lets users see what apps they use and the information shared with the apps.

It is unclear how long this app review process will last. Although the Cambridge Analytica scandal was bad for press, Facebook's overall daily active user base grew in the first quarter of 2018.

To date, Facebook says is has investigated "thousands" of apps.

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Under the terms of use, the myPersonality team was allowed to use and distribute the data "in an anonymous manner such that the information can not be traced back to the individual user", but they took "poor precautions" to scrub identifying information like users' names, New Scientist found.

The developers being vetted are those with access to the platform prior to the change in 2015 that cut off the extra data. (Stillwell's Cambridge email has been taken down and he did not immediately respond to The Outline's request for comment on Facebook).

This meant the company was able to mine the information of 55 million Facebook users even though just 270,000 people gave them permission to do so. As far as anonymization goes, that's no almost good enough: anyone could easily discover the Facebook identity of each user based on some of that data.

The company responded to complaints by saying the text and call history recording was an "opt-in" feature, which had to be expressly agreed to by the user. Reports added that Facebook knew that this occurred but did not inform their users. If found guilty, the apps will be permanently banned.

Facebook prohibited apps from doing this in a 2014 policy change.

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