Economy

Facebook's audit into app data collection underway, 200 apps suspended

Facebook's audit into app data collection underway, 200 apps suspended

The company says it has now investigated thousands of apps and the result, so far, has been the suspension of 200 apps that are now pending an investigation. Facebook promised to scrutinize app developers after admitting to the inappropriate sharing of data on up to 87 million people with Cambridge Analytica, the third-party data firm accused of employing underhanded tactics to shape politics in the USA and United Kingdom. The company revealed that the audit process involves two phases involving a back-end review to identify apps that have access to sensitive user data. A statement attributed to Facebook VP of partnerships Ime Archibong read: "W$3 e are now investigating the app, and if mypersonality refuses to cooperate or fails our audit, we will ban it".

We also don't know what criteria Facebook will use to determine whether a company is in violation of its policies, or how extensive each individual examination will be.

Ime Archibong, VP of Facebook's Product Partnerships, writes that investigation is in "full swing".

Data such as phone numbers, private messages, and religious views, taken from as many as 87 million Facebook users was allegedly used to influence voters in the 2016 United States election. It will also perform audits that may include on-site inspections.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge shared the data from app myPersonality with hundreds of researchers via an insecure website, New Scientist reports.

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Facebook plans to show and notify people of banned apps via this website, which states whether or not a logged in Facebook user or their friends had logged in to any of the apps it confirms did misuse data.

The third point was to make sure users understand which apps are allowed to access their data. In late March, media reported that the personal information of about 50 million Facebook users had been harvested by Cambridge Analytica without the social media site's consent during the 2016 USA presidential campaign.

Archibong does state that "there is a lot more work to be done" and that Facebook will keep you updated on any progress.

In 2016, Facebook believed CA when it said that it had deleted the data it had stored, only to find out the truth in 2018 after a whistleblower came forward.