Facebook responds to Cambridge Analytica controversy, suspends tens of thousands of apps


Facebook has announced that it has suspended tens of thousands of apps on its platform as part of its ongoing investigation into the app developers and the activity of their apps on the social networking platform. The social media giant started a platform-wide investigation into apps and app developers on its platform in March 2018 after the Cambridge Analytica controversy stormed the internet.

The social media giant in a blog post said that while it has suspended tens of thousands of apps by nearly 400 app developers, it not indicate that all these apps posed a threat to Facebook users and their data on the social media site as many of these apps were still in the testing phase and had not been rolled out to the user.

“In a few cases, we have banned apps completely. That can happen for any number of reasons including inappropriately sharing data obtained from us, making data publicly available without protecting people’s identity or something else that was in clear violation of our policies. We have not confirmed other instances of misuse to date other than those we have already notified the public about, but our investigation is not yet complete,” Facebook’s vice product of product partnerships, Ime Archibong, wrote in blog post.

In addition to removing apps from its platform, the company in its blogpost announced that it had removed a number of APIs that gave the app developers access to a variety of data from Facebook users. “We have also developed new rules to more strictly control a developer’s access to user data,” Archibong added in the blog post adding that apps that request users’ data will now have to demonstrate how their data would be used to provide them with an experience in their app.

Separately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this year imposed a fine of $5 billion on Facebook following its investigatio into the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other privacy violations. The federal authority also imposed new restrictions on the company’s business operations. In addition to that, the settlement with the FTC also mandated that the social media deploy compliance officers and exercise greater oversight on its app developers.


Loknath Das