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

15 May 2018

After looking over thousands of items, only 200 apps were banned from the site. Users' answers to intimate questionnaires were left exposed and could be accessed by anyone online.

"The apps were suspended pending a thorough investigation into whether they misused any data, said Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships", Reuters reported this morning. The blog post also gave a somewhat detailed explanation of how the investigation process for each app will work.

The controversial political consultancy stands accused of commissioning a Cambridge University researcher to harvest tens of millions of users' data through a personality quiz app.

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The social network has not given a specific figure about how many apps have so far been investigated, referring only to "thousands" of apps. "We will keep you updated on our progress". It also accessed a huge portion of information from the users' friends.

Communications firms Cambridge Analytica has offices in London, New York, Washington, as well as Brazil and Malaysia. On May 2, Cambridge Analytica along with parent company SCL Elections released a joint statement that it would shut down operations. If they did, Facebook said it would ban them and let people know via a dedicated page on its Help Center, just like it did with Cambridge Analytica. It appears one of the students included the login information in a public GitHub repository that could be found with a simple web search. Their actions affected 87 million users. Those logs will be deleted after one year and will use fewer details, eliminating the time of the call, Facebook says.

Facebook suspended the myPersonality app on April 7, citing it may have breached Facebook's data agreement.

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Following the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal and criticism, Facebook is slowly attempting to clean up its act. He added that the social media company had to improve identifying fake news and hate speech.

Facebook has faced tough scrutiny since the scandal erupted, with Mark Zuckerberg summoned to the US Congress to face two days of questions. As far as anonymization goes, that's no almost good enough: anyone could easily discover the Facebook identity of each user based on some of that data. If an app sticks out as potentially more nefarious than the rest, it'll get audited-with a failure to cooperate resulting in its banishment from Facebook.

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