Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Business | By Pearl Harrison

Facebook suspends hundreds of apps for misusing user data

Facebook suspends hundreds of apps for misusing user data

In a post, Ime Archibong, the company's VP of product partnerships, said that Facebook has looked into the activity of "thousands" of apps, explaining that the investigation process has two phases. But banning an app from Facebook's ecosystem is not the same as recovering or forcing developers to delete the information they took, let alone tracking down who those developers might have shared information with. Cambridge Analytica is the United Kingdom -based political consulting firm that had improperly licensed info on upwards of 87 million Facebook users - most of whom had no idea their data had been harvested, via a quiz app hosted on the platform in 2013.

This was reported on the news portal of the social network.

Cambridge Analytica was found to have allegedly received a huge cache of Facebook user data from a third-party app developer. However, the social media giant is promising to invest heavily to ensure that the investigation is "as thorough and timely as possible". Even those 200 suspended apps will need to be further investigated via interviews and RFI requests, and we can likely expect the figure to go up as more third-party apps are audited.

The investigation is part of Facebook's response to the revelations about Cambridge Analytica's collection of user data in March, after which the company was forced to admit it had allowed the data of tens of million of users to be mishandled. "We do both. Targeted ads that respect people's privacy are better ads", said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

None of the suspended apps were identified.

For instance it's not clear whether the company will publish a public list of every app that it suspends or deems to have misused user data - or whether it will just notify affected individuals.

Facebook did not provide any additional details as to which of the apps had been suspended, how many users had used the apps or what was the reason that led Facebook to suspect that those apps had been misused.

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