Facebook Suspends Thousands of Apps

Facebook Inc. has announced that it has suspended tens of thousands of apps on its platform as part of an investigation it launched in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal. These suspends apps associated with nearly 400 developers for a variety of reasons in facebook.

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 said, “That can happen for any number of 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,”

According to BBC, The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the data of tens of millions of people, was hugely damaging for Facebook and the company has since faced lawsuits and international criticism.

It is now seeking to improve its privacy safeguards and its image.

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As part of that, in March last year Facebook launched an investigation into apps on its platform, involving hundreds of lawyers, data scientists and engineers.

The state began investigating Facebook when the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, But the company refused to identify any of the apps or developers, and the subpoena would have remained confidential under Massachusetts law had Facebook not insisted on keeping it and related exhibits secret. The unsealed subpoena also says that Facebook informed the Massachusetts attorney general’s office that it had identified about 2 million apps “as warranting a closer examination for potential misuses of Facebook user data.” The Massachusetts prosecutor said in a court filing that it sent Facebook a demand to reveal the names of the apps involved in the investigation. The company declined to identify them.

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