Facebook suspends 200 apps over data misuse

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

Just under two months on and the tally is ~200 "suspicious" app suspensions, though the review process is ongoing - and Facebook is not being more specific about the total number of apps it's looked at so far (beyond saying "thousands") - so expect that figure to rise. But banning an app from Facebook's ecosystem is not the same as recovering or forcing developers to delete the information they took, let alone tracking down who those developers might have shared information with.

Due to pre-2014 rules set out by Facebook, third-party apps had access to a substantial amount of personal data, including that of users' friends on the site as well.

In Facebook note that if the application had abused the use of personal information, they will be completely blocked, and people will get a notification. Now, almost two months later, the social network is giving us an update on that process.

He promised in a March 2018 post that the company will investigate these apps, and ban those that do not play nice with users' data.

"We are investing heavily to make sure this investigation is as thorough and timely as possible", he adds. Even those 200 suspended apps will need to be further investigated via interviews and RFI requests, and we can likely expect the figure to go up as more third-party apps are audited.

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The company said it was probing thousands of apps on top of those already suspended.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Facebook's entanglement with Cambridge Analytica violates its 2011 settlement with the US government over another series of privacy mishaps.

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook users have been incentivised to dig through the information Facebook had on them, which revealed the data scraping the lawsuit brings to the court. We've reached out to Facebook for comment.

The company also pointed to a website where it would notify users if their data was improperly used.

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