Facebook suspends about 200 apps that may have misused data

Facebook is suspending about 200 apps it believes may have misused data

The UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has been investigating allegations of misuse of user data surrounding Facebook's recent scandal relating to data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica.

In their audit, the company examined how many third-party apps especially those created before Facebook's data policies were changed in 2014 had widespread access to user information.

In March, following Facebook's infamous data privacy scandal, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a full audit of all Facebook-connected apps.

"And second, where we have concerns, we 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", Ime Archibong, Vice President of Product Partnerships at Facebook, said in a blog post.

Mark Zuckerberg has once again rejected the advances of the United Kingdom parliamentary committee that are probing the misuse of Facebook data and how the firm slurps user info. A Cambridge Analytica spokesperson said the company used Twitter for political advertising but insisted that it had never "undertaken a project with GSR focusing on Twitter data and Cambridge Analytica has never received Twitter data from GSR".

The social network will be conducting a "thorough investigation" to check whether these apps have misused user data or not.

"We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible", he said in a statement.

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Outside of that key 200 figure, Facebook's revelations leave a lot of important details out.

Mr Archibong said Facebook would "show people if they or their friends installed an app that misused data before 2015" at this website, but affected users would not be able to claw that information back.

While Facebook did not mention the 200 suspended apps in question, there is also no clarity as to how long will the investigation take.

If the former, the final tally could (hopefully) end up much lower than 200.

Data such as phone numbers, private messages, and religious views, taken from as many as 87 million Facebook users and more than 311,000 in Australia, was allegedly used to influence voters in the 2016 U.S. election.

It's even unclear whether or not Facebook auditors will have the ability to ascertain for certain that a developer misused data.

Facebook has so far refused to name the suspect apps. Facebook took some time to publicize which Facebook users CA had data on, and still hasn't revealed which users had data scraped by Canadian consultancy firm AggregateIQ.

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