On Monday Facebook announced that it had suspended 200 apps from its platform for suspected data misuse. The company said it would be conducting a thorough probe into each of the apps to determine whether they had in fact misused personal data. If the apps are found to have misused data or refuse to cooperate with the probe, they will be banned from the social media platform.“The investigation process is in full swing,” Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships, wrote in a statement. “We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible.”
“There is a lot more work to be done to find all the apps that may have misused people’s Facebook data – and it will take time,” Archibong added.According to the statement, Facebook has investigated “thousands” of apps for data mishandling to date. When the company finds data misuse it bans the app, notifies users, and posts an update to this website.So far, the only app listed on the page is This is Your Digital Life. This was the app that was used by Cambridge Analytica to harvest data on 87 million Americans.Last year it was revealed that this data was used to target voters with ads by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz’s presidential campaigns. This scandal led to increased scrutiny of Facebook, which was already under fire for allowing Russians to spread fake news through extensive meme networks.
Earlier this year the Facebook scandal culminated in Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the US congress about Facebook’s data practices. Although Zuckerberg profusely apologized— just like he has apologized for years—and promised a thorough audit of Facebook apps, even if apps are found to have misused data and are banned from the platform, the damage is already done.
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