Facebook users were encouraged to share personal and intimate details, like the results of a psychological test, with the app myPersonality.
After the revelation in mid-March that the information of up to 87 million Facebook users was accessed by political data consulting firm Cambridge Analytica without permission, Facebook came under fire once again for its privacy practices.
The company is not disclosing the names of the suspended apps until it can complete the review. The company will look into any and all applications with access to significant amounts of user data before 2014-which marked a policy change restricting data access to apps.
If you're wondering why it took the company four years to run this kind of audit, especially after multiple reports from individuals involved (like the whistleblower who revealed the Cambridge Analytica fiasco), you're not the only one.
The resulting investigation is now "in full swing", in the words of Ime Archibong, a Vice President of Product Partnerships at Facebook.
Moreover, they would perform audits including on-site inspections of the apps in question. While academics at the University of Cambridge meant to limit access to researchers, a username and password to view the info was listed on the code-sharing site GitHub for four years.
Another Facebook data leak left the personal information of millions of users exposed online for anyone to access. The suspended apps are pending further investigation, which will involve verified if any data was misused by the apps.
Almost half of those users, about 3 million, agreed to share data from their Facebook profiles with the app. If a user or the user's friends have violating apps linked to their account, it will be notified on the page. The myPersonality database served as the inspiration for the app built by Aleksandr Kogan, which is at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In the case of myPersonality, New Scientist reported that between the data breach and business-as-usual information sharing, there's no feasible way to know or identify every party that has now accessed that information. Some have given users tools to see how their data is used, and others have given users the opportunity to download all the data the platform stores about them.