Facebook said on Friday that it had suspended tens of thousands of apps for improperly sucking up users’ personal information and other transgressions, a tacit admission that the scale of its data privacy issues was far larger than it had previously acknowledged.
The social network said in a blog post that an investigation it began in March 2018 — following revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a British consultancy, had retrieved and used people’s Facebook information without their permission — had resulted in the suspension of “tens of thousands” of apps that were associated with about 400 developers. That was far bigger than the last number that Facebook had disclosed of 400 app suspensions in August 2018.
Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps following data investigation
Facebook said Friday it has suspended “tens of thousands” of apps that may have mishandled users’ personal data, sparking fresh concerns about the tech giant’s privacy practices and exposing it to another potential standoff with U.S. regulators.
The suspended apps vastly outnumber the hundreds that Facebook previously said it had taken action against in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But the tech company gave little detail about what the apps had done wrong, or even the names of the apps, saying only that they were associated with about 400 developers and had been targeted for a “variety of reasons.”
Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps amid privacy investigation
Facebook has suspended tens of thousands of apps from the platform for privacy reasons, it announced in a blogpost on Friday.
The removals come as part of an ongoing investigation into how developers use data, which the company started after the Cambridge Analytica scandal in March 2018. The news also reveals that the platform is home to more problematic apps than previously thought.
An Update on Our App Developer Investigation
We wanted to provide an update on our ongoing App Developer Investigation, which we began in March of 2018 as part of our response to the episode involving Cambridge Analytica.
We promised then that we would review all of the apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform policies in 2014. It has involved hundreds of people: attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists, platform partners and other teams across the company. Our review helps us to better understand patterns of abuse in order to root out bad actors among developers.