The Cambridge Analytica data breach was one of the biggest controversies to ever rock Facebook, and in many ways, the company is still struggling to deal with the fallout. This week, the tech giant took another step to address issues brought to light by the scandal, changing its policies to ban data-sucking personality quiz apps.
“Apps with minimal utility that provide predictions, assessments, or similar outputs to the user, may not be allowed on Platform,” Facebook said in its revised Platform Policy. “For example, apps that provide (or claim to provide) users with assessments of personality, personal attributes, character traits, behavioral tendencies, or whose core functionality otherwise involves making predictions about who the user is, may not be allowed.”
However, even though Facebook is specifically targeting personality quizzes, it’s important to note that they’re not the real problem. These simple apps are merely a tool that can be easily abused by bad actors to collect users’ information. For instance, as many as 87 million people had their data improperly accessed by Cambridge Analytica through a quiz app called “thisisyourdigitallife.” The real problem is that Facebook allowed app developers to run wild for years, collecting data with minimal oversight or enforcement. So while this latest Facebook policy change is welcome, it also arrived awfully late.
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