Facebook bans 200 apps following audit as Cambridge Analytica scandal grows


Facebook says it has suspended around 200 apps for potentially misusing people's data, following an audit that was prompted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In a post, Ime Archibong, the company's VP of product partnerships, said that Facebook has looked into the activity of "thousands" of apps, explaining that the investigation process has two phases.

Archibong does state that "there is a lot more work to be done" and that Facebook will keep you updated on any progress. Since then, Zuckerburg and the Facebook team have been reviewing policies and have been investigating other apps that may be harvesting large amounts of user data. When that episode became apparent this year, the ensuing scandal led Facebook-which claimed Kogan had promised he only wanted the data for research purposes-to audit other instances where apps might have hoovered up data for illicit purposes. In the case of myPersonality, New Scientist reported that between the data breach and business-as-usual information sharing, there's no feasible way to know or identify every party that has now accessed that information.

Cambridge Analytica, a British data analytics firm that worked for President Donald Trump's campaigned, may have misused the personal data of 87 million Facebook users. The company will ban any apps if it finds they misused Facebook users' data, and will notify users (at this link) if they or their friends had installed those apps, according to Archibong.

Filed in a Northern California district court, the lawsuit alleges that Facebook did not make it clear in its terms and conditions that it would harvest call and message data within its apps.

Given the likely scale of data misuse by developers on its platform there is an argument for Facebook to publish a public list of suspensions. Although she also said the company has not yet decided how it will share information about these apps.