Technology

Facebook suspends around 200 apps in data misuse investigation

Facebook suspends around 200 apps in data misuse investigation

The company did not fully explain why each of the 200 apps were suspended, although Facebook said the apps' alleged mishandling of user data will be fully investigated, including in-person visits.

Facebook has revealed an update to its app investigation and audit that CEO Mark Zuckerberg had announced on March 21.

Facebook's investigation is divided into two stages: first, a comprehensive review of any app that had access to "large amounts of information".

Cambridge Analytica was able to build profiles on Facebook users by exploiting a lenient policy that allowed app developers to not only acess data on people that downloaded their services, but also their friends.

The social media company said that teams of external and internal experts would hold interviews and lead inspections on-site of the apps during its audit.

"The investigation process is in full swing", said an online statement from Facebook product partnerships vice president Ime Archibong.

According to Archibong, "thousands of apps have been investigated and around 200 have been suspended" thus far.

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Facebook has so far refused to name the suspect apps. In 2014, Facebook changed its policies to block apps from acquiring users' friends' data unless their friends had independently authorized the app.

Facebook has suspended around 200 third-party apps, after its data misuse investigation found signs that they may have been acting improperly.

Users of any app that has access to data before 2015 will be notified through the Your Info page.

New Scientist reports that Kogan - who's at the center of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal that prompted Facebook to do these audits - was listed as a collaborator on the myPersonality project until summer 2014.

Hopefully the company goes beyond what they did with Cambridge Analytica, where they apparently took the company's word for it that all data had been deleted. Facebook will ban any of the apps that incorrectly handled personal information. "To date thousands of apps have been investigated". If Facebook determines the apps did misuse data then they will be removed permanently.

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