Facebook suspends 200 apps, review underway investigating data misuse

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

Facebook has suspended around 200 apps as part of its investigation into whether companies misused personal user data gathered from the social network.

"Large teams of internal and external experts [are] working hard" to investigate the apps that had access to large amounts of user data before Facebook changed its policies in 2014, the company said. If evidence proves that they did, the apps will be banned from Facebook and people who used them will be notified, similar to the steps Facebook took in contacting people to let them know if their data was transferred to Cambridge Analytica.

This came as outcome of the Facebook action of investigating applications on its platform in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal (which compromised data on 87 million users around the world who were then used to influence political processes such as the USA presidential election in 2016). The first phase, now underway, consists of Facebook employees and external experts reviewing apps to identify those which had access to an extremely large amount of user data.

In March, following Facebook's infamous data privacy scandal, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a full audit of all Facebook-connected apps.

Facebook has so far refused to name the suspect apps. If Facebook determines the apps did misuse data then they will be removed permanently.

The Facebook official also revealed that if the apps misuse the data, the developers would be banned as well.

If and when Facebook deems it necessary, it will also conduct audits that may include on-site inspections.

A report from New Scientist finds that the myPersonality app had been collecting and sharing the personal information for as many as three million users who had installed the app on their Facebook profile. One thing we do know: at least 87 million Facebook users in the USA had their data stolen.

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

As the Cambridge Analytica scandal keeps creeping down on Facebook like a mudslide, the company has been trying to preemptively oust the other skeletons in its closet with app audits. He believes that Facebook has the right to charge users for the company not to use their data.

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