Facebook Suspends 200 Apps in Investigation Over Data Abuse

The government had in end-March sent a notice to Facebook asking whether the personal data of Indian voters and users has been compromised by the UK-based Cambridge Analytica or any other downstream entity

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

As CNN explained, the goal is to crack down on any kind of egregious data breach like that of election consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Now, Facebook users can check if Cambridge Analytica accessed their data on a page created by Facebook.

Announcing the investigation in March, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that any developers who failed or refused to comply with the audit would be banned from the platform. Archibong revealed that the investigation was conducted in a two-part process. Now it's announced it may have snagged up to 200 more potentially problematic apps - and it won't say what they are yet.

Where Facebook finds evidence that these or other apps did misuse data, it will ban them and notify people via this website. Those 200 app suspensions are the result of just the first stage of Facebook's review process. Instead, the company merely said that it's "investing heavily to make sure this investigation is as thorough and timely as possible". Instead, the company is simply investigating apps that have access to large amounts of data. As of Monday, April 9, users began seeing an app control link at the top of their News Feed. Whether or not each of the apps will be named and shamed remains to be seen, however. Users can remove apps no longer wanted.

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The company did not release the name of the apps it suspended. This functionality was already present in Facebook's privacy settings, but will be moved to ensure greater visibility.

"By granting this access, Android users were also automatically and unknowingly granting Facebook permission to "scrape", or automatically gather, Android users" call and text logs", the documents state.

Facebook, the University of Cambridge, the Psychometrics Centre and Aleksandr Kogan didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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This information isn't tied to a name/username, but to unique IDs associated with each user data set.

Facebook's retroactive purge of data collection abusers is underway.

Facebook is targeting third-party applications that use the platform to connect with users. In the future, the portal will be updated with information for other apps that could be found guilty of the same charges.

Facebook prohibited apps from doing this in a 2014 policy change.

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