Facebook has said that it has suspended thousands of apps as part of an investigation. This follows the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal.
Si far they have investigated millions of apps. Of those, tens of thousands have been suspended for a variety of reasons while they continue to investigate.
The apps that have been suspended are associated with about 400 developers. This is not necessarily an indication that these apps were posing a threat to people. Many were not live but were still in their testing phase when they suspended them. It is not unusual for developers to have multiple test apps that never get rolled out. And in many cases, the developers did not respond to Facebook’s request for information so they suspended them.
In a few cases, they banned apps completely. That can happen for any number of reasons including inappropriately sharing data obtained from Facebook, making data publicly available without protecting people’s identity or something else that was in clear violation of the policies.
Facebook 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.
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.