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Facebook suspends 200 apps for investigation

15-May-2018
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Facebook suspends 200 apps for investigation

Facebook on Monday announced that it has suspended around 200 apps as part of an ongoing investigation following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The social media platform is investigating to see if the apps and services misused user data.

On March 21, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to launch a thorough audit and investigation into apps using the Facebook platform. This update from Facebook is the first such report on the progress of the audit Zuckerberg had promised.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal raised questions about Facebook’s lax data-privacy laws in the past. Suspension of the 200-odd apps shows that more apps could have misused data like Cambridge Analytica.

“The investigation process is in full swing, and it has two phases,” Ime Archibong, VP of Product Partnerships, said in a blogpost. First, the company will conduct a comprehensive review to identify every app that had access to this amount of Facebook data. Second, in cases where Facebook has concerns, it will conduct interviews, make requests for information (RFI) — which ask a series of detailed questions about the app and the data it has access to — and perform audits that may include on-site inspections.

Facebook has large teams of internal and external experts investigating the apps. “To date, thousands of apps have been investigated,” the company said.

In cases where Facebook finds evidence of misuse of data, it will ban the apps and notify people via this website. “It will show people if they or their friends installed an app that misused data before 2015 — just as we did for Cambridge Analytica,” said Archibong.

This update on the investigation comes ahead of a hearing focused on Cambridge Analytica and data privacy on Wednesday at Capitol Hill. Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower Christopher Wylie is expected to appear in front of lawmakers.

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