After the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal last spring, Facebook announced that it would launch an investigation into millions of app developers’ data practices. This week, the company released the first results of its ongoing audit, suspending tens of thousands of apps for their data practices and a variety of other reasons.
According to a blog post from Facebook VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong, Facebook’s investigation identified apps based on how many users they had and how much data they could access. The company also came up with a way to identify apps based solely on their potential to violate the platform’s rules. However, Facebook was quick to point out that the majority of the apps it suspended were not actively harming user privacy.
“This is not necessarily an indication that these apps were posing a threat to people,” Archibong wrote. “Many were not live but were still in their testing phase when we suspended them.”
It’s worth noting, though, that Facebook completely banned several apps for 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.”
It’s wise to be a little suspicious of Facebook’s chest-thumping claims, but this investigation is still light years ahead of where the company used to be regarding user data.
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