Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps following Cambridge Analytica scandal

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Facebook has been looking into app developers who have access to user data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 


Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

Facebook said Friday it suspended tens of thousands of apps for various reasons as part of an investigation the company launched last year in response to a major data privacy scandal. 

In March 2018, revelations surfaced that UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million Facebook users without their permission. The scandal raised concerns about whether the world’s largest social network was doing enough to protect the data of its 2.4 billion users and sparked more scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators. 

Facebook then started looking into developers who had access to user data. The company said some of the suspended apps, which were tied to 400 developers, were still being tested and not live when they were suspended. 

“This is not necessarily an indication that these apps were posing a threat to people,” said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s VP of Product Partnerships in a blog post. “Many were not live but were still in their testing phase when we suspended them.” 

Some were suspended because they didn’t respond to Facebook’s request for more information. Others were completely banned. That can happen when an app inappropriately shared user data or ran afoul of the company’s rules.

“We have not confirmed other instances of misuse to date other than those we have already notified the public about, but our investigation is not yet complete,” Archibong said.

Facebook didn’t not provide a list of the apps that were suspended. 

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