Facebook Suspends ‘Thousands’ of Apps

by | Sep 20, 2019

Facebook has taken the move to suspend “tens of thousands” of apps that are in operation on its platform as it continues to try and stem what it suspects is the collection of large amounts of user profile data.

This move comes towards the end of a turbulent 2019 for the social media giant and as it tries to move on from the Cambridge Analytica scandal for which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a $5bn fine last July. As a response to this scandal, when reports of it initially emerged, Facebook initiated an ‘App Developer Investigation’ in March 2018. Following the completion of the early stages of that operation 400 apps were flagged, according to Facebook “due to concerns around the developers who built them or how the information people chose to share with the app may have been used — which we are now investigating in much greater dept”.

In the most recent blog post in relation to this investigation, Facebook has revealed that “there is meaningful progress to report so far. To date, this investigation has addressed millions of apps. Of those, tens of thousands have been suspended for a variety of reasons while we continue to investigate.”

A number of applications have been banned completely from using the Facebook platform and a number of legal actions have been taken against companies including Rankwave, LionMobi, JediMobi and submitted a legal action against certain developers found to be using quiz applications to illegally obtain Facebook users’ data.

Facebook also said, in relation to the conduct of developers creating applications for its platform, “We have also developed new rules to more strictly control a developer’s access to user data. Apps that provide minimal utility for users, like personality quizzes, may not be allowed on Facebook. Apps may not request a person’s data unless the developer uses it to meaningfully improve the quality of a person’s experience. They must also clearly demonstrate to people how their data would be used to provide them that experience.”

Cambridge Analytica was a UK based political consultancy firm that gained unauthorized access to the data of millions of Facebook users. The data was collected using an online quiz app to estimate a personality type. This was just one of a number of issues Facebook has encountered in relation to data privacy in the past two years.

Others include:

There has been no indication if any of the newly banned apps were misusing the user data that they were gathering. The investigation is ongoing.





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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a highly accomplished journalist and editor with nearly two decades of experience in the field. With expertise in writing and editing content, Patrick has made significant contributions to various publications and organizations. Over the course of his career, Patrick has successfully managed teams of writers, overseeing the production of high-quality content and ensuring its adherence to professional standards. His exceptional leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of journalistic principles, have allowed him to create cohesive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers. A notable area of specialization for Patrick lies in compliance, particularly in relation to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). He has authored numerous articles delving into the complexities of compliance and its implications for various industries. Patrick's comprehensive understanding of HIPAA regulations has positioned him as a go-to expert, sought after for his insights and expertise in this field. Patrick's bachelors degree is from the University of Limerick and his master's degree in journalism is from Dublin City University. You can contact Patrick through his LinkedIn profile:

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