Facebook's audit into app data collection underway, 200 apps suspended

The government had in end-March sent a notice to Facebook asking whether the personal data of Indian voters and users has been compromised by the UK-based Cambridge Analytica or any other downstream entity

Facebook has suspended some 200 apps as part of its investigation into whether companies misused personal user data gathered from the social network.

It's important to note that the company isn't necessarily investigating apps that had access to the quiz app put together by Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan.

"To date thousands of apps have been investigated and around 200 have been suspended", Ime Archibong, VP of Product Partnerships at Facebook confirmed today, "pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data". Since then, Zuckerburg and the Facebook team have been reviewing policies and have been investigating other apps that may be harvesting large amounts of user data. Facebook's audit update does claim that the "How can I tell if an app may have misused my Facebook information?" page, released in March, will allow users to see if any of these other apps have also taken their information without permission.

However, Facebook says that this doesn't necessarily mean the apps did anything wrong.

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The company, however, regained much of its lost market value after it reported a surprisingly strong 63 percent rise in profit and an increase in users when it announced quarterly results on April 25. The thorough investigation will consist of interviews, requests for information and performing audits that may include on-site inspections.

"We will keep you updated on our progress".

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook users have been incentivised to dig through the information Facebook had on them, which revealed the data scraping the lawsuit brings to the court. "We do both. Targeted ads that respect people's privacy are better ads", said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Given the likely scale of data misuse by developers on its platform there is an argument for Facebook to publish a public list of suspensions.

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