Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

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

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

New Scientist has the scoop and reports that personality quiz app "myPersonality", developed by Cambridge University academics, distributed user responses to researchers at companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo using an unsecured website.

This investigation started with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which revealed just how easily app developers could gather information about Facebook users and their friends.

Thousands of different apps have gone through investigations thus far, and Facebook said that any app refusing to be cooperative or that failed the system's audit would be banned.

"There is a lot more work to be done to find all the apps that may have misused people's Facebook data - and it will take time". All apps that were given access to user data prior to its policy change in 2015, as well as those demonstrating "suspicious behavior" since then, would be audited as part of a company-wide investigation. However, the social media giant is promising to invest heavily to ensure that the investigation is "as thorough and timely as possible". If a user or the user's friends have violating apps linked to their account, it will be notified on the page. Around 300,000 users downloaded the psychology personality app called This Is Your Digital Life.

It is unclear how long this app review process will last.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it seems as if Facebook has learned its lesson. Ideally, Facebook's in-person inspections of these hundreds of app-makers will turn up the truth sooner rather than later.

The changes eliminate access to some features entirely while modifying others.

To get access to the data, people could register as a collaborator to the project and more than 280 people from 150 institutions did so, including researchers from Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Leaving info about the event intact allows apps to add the event to a calendar, for example, Facebook says.

"Keeping your messages private is the priority for us", a Facebook Messenger spokesman said in a statement made available to the Daily Mail.

During the five years it was active, the myPersonality app harvested data from over 6 million volunteers.

"We suspended the myPersonality app nearly a month ago because we believe that it may have violated Facebook's policies", Archibong said Monday in response to an AFP inquiry.

The Facebook CEO promised three things. Facebook wants to know which ones misrepresented how it would be used.

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