Facebook suspended thousands of apps posing a threat to its users

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms with millions of users engaging on a daily basis. There’s nothing more a user wants on social media platforms than the privacy of its personal information. According to Ime Archibong, VP of Product Partnerships, Facebook has recently suspended tens of thousands of apps as a part of its ongoing investigation to remove any app that is involved in bad data practices. In 2018, it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had access to user data without permission from Facebook itself. This scandal was huge and affected Facebook a lot. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal, Facebook started an investigation to make its platform free from apps and developers that may be accessing user data without the platforms’ permission.

As revealed by Facebook, the apps suspended were associated with 400 developers and not all of them posed a threat to users but they suspended those apps just to not let any data breach in the future.

The data accessed by Cambridge Analytica was used to do some personality quizzes just to target specified political advertising. Due to this data breach, the US Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook with $5 billion which is believed to be the largest fine ever paid by any company for violating user privacy.

The scandal of Cambridge Analytica took out Facebook like a storm. This scandal involved the misuse of data of millions of people and it hugely damaged the reputation of Facebook with lawsuits and international criticism as well.


To display the audience that Facebook is attempting to improve its privacy policies and its reputation in the market, it’s now suspending apps that show even a tiny bit of data breach of users. From March last year, Facebook launched an investigation into apps involving hundreds of lawyers, data scientists, and engineers to review the apps and better understand the patterns of data violations to detect and to remove from the platform.

Is there any official information regarding the workings of these apps?

Facebook only unveiled a specific amount of information regarding the 'tens of thousands' of apps it suspended and developers are curious to know in detail. According to a statement, the suspension of apps didn’t mean all of them were posing a threat to people and most of the apps were not even live and still in the testing phase when Facebook suspended them. Some of the apps suspended clearly shared data obtained from Facebook or made the data of people’s identity publicly available. One banned app named myPersonality was found sharing information of users with researchers and companies and only providing protections to limited data quantity and then refused to even participate in the audit by Facebook as well.

Conclusion

The app review by Facebook is still ongoing and Facebook won’t stop until it makes the platform free from all sorts of apps that may be posing a threat to user privacy. Facebook is attempting to clear its name from the scandal of Cambridge Analytica and to make its users feel more secured on the platform.


Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

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