Facebook Suspends 200 Apps Over User Data Misuse

By Colin Fredericson

Facebook announced it was suspending 200 third-party apps on the morning of May 14.

The suspensions come as Facebook deals with backlash from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and increased scrutiny about how the social media giant uses the data users provide it.

Facebook said it is investigating tens of thousands of apps to find out if they misused user data. Facebook implemented stronger privacy controls in 2015, and is investigating apps that could have misused the data before then, The Washington Post reported.

Facebook also posted a newsroom update on May 14, that indicated any app that refuses or fails an audit will be banned, as it scrutinizes potentially suspicious apps.

Facebook says it is conducting the investigation in two phases. The first phase is to find out which apps had access to the private data in question. The next phase is aimed at investigating identified problem apps. It consists of conducting interviews, putting in requests for information, and possible on-site inspections as a result of audits, according to the newsroom post.

Facebook has a page where users can check if their data was compromised by the app at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, “This Is Your Digital Life.” The page reveals to users what data may have been acquired by Cambridge Analytica through the use of the app or a Facebook friend of someone who used the app. Facebook’s policies more easily permitted apps to gather data about a user’s friends at the time when the “This Is Your Digital Life” app was available.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in Washington in April, where he was publicly grilled on Capitol Hill about Facebook’s privacy practices. Questions from members of Congress to Zuckerberg dealt with data misuse and further issues that occur on the Facebook platform, Time reported.

The former Cambridge Analytica employee that brought to light the controversial data practices is expected to head to Capitol Hill next, as Congress is expected to look deeper into the practices of the now dismantled tech company, the Post reported.

 

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