Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Facebook suspends 200 apps over possible data misuse

Facebook suspends 200 apps over possible data misuse

Facebook said in a blog post Monday that it has investigated thousands of apps after it emerged that Cambridge Analytica had harvested information on about 87 million users without their knowledge.

Facebook suspended the app on April 7, after it accessed the "Big Five" personality scores of 3.1 million users, and two million status updates from over 150,000 users, including details about age, gender and relationship status from 4.3 million people.

Ime Archibong, vice president of product partnerships, says that if any evidence is found that the suspended apps or other apps have misused data, they will be banned.

Those who gained access to the data would have been able to view about three million users' app scores that shows the personal characteristics of the participating individual.

Kogan provided that data to Cambridge Analytica, in a breach of Facebook's rules.


Facebook says it's now investigating the app, and if myPersonality refuses to cooperate or fails the audit, the company will ban it. If the audit happens, the chances of the number of third-party apps going up is likely.

Facebook is especially focused on apps operating in 2014 or earlier. The application was active until 2012 and collected data from over 6 million volunteers during this time. Here both cases mount up to being peas in the pod; both tests were initiated in the University of Cambridge and both of them had Aleksandr Kogan as a common researcher. According to a recent article in 9to5mac.com, Apple is now removing those apps from the app store that are sharing data in violation of these restrictions.

Grabbing the login details from GitHub granted access to the sensitive data "in less than a minute" and has, in fact, been publicly visible on the website for the past four years. Following the submission of a report, Facebook's bug and data abuse bounty team would work to determine credible reports, shut down undesired apps, and take legal action against the company that's buying or selling the data if the need arises. The move was made in response to a scandal around Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy firm.

Investigators have contacted Facebook, according to the newspaper.

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