Facebook suspends 200 apps for misusing data, privacy probe continues

Facebook suspends 200 apps for misusing data, privacy probe continues

The company CEO Mark Zuckerberg had promised a thorough investigation and audit into apps that had access to information before Facebook changed its platform policies in 2014 - significantly reducing the data apps could access.

Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships said that the apps were suspended pending a rigorous investigation into whether services on Cambridge Analytica had improperly used or gathered users' any personal data. The data of these users profiles was not only shared with the Cambridge researchers, the data was available to anyone wanting to access it.

More than 6 million people completed the tests on the myPersonality app and almost half agreed to share data from their Facebook profiles with the project. The University of Cambridge does not own or control the app or data. From researchers at universities to people at companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo - everyone had fun with your data and all the intimate answers entered in the quiz. The data allegedly includes information like age, gender, and relationship status of 4.3 million people. No problem. For four years, there's been a username and password to get at the data.

Anyone who wanted access to the data set could have found the key to download it in less than a minute. However, their request was turned down by the myPersonality app team in 2013 because of the company's political ambitions.

It did not name the apps that have been suspended but said they would be subject to a more thorough investigation into how they handle user data.

More news: European spy chiefs warn of threats from Russian Federation and ISIS

Facebook also fired a parting shot at the committee, as it pointed out that it had held lengthy meetings and evidence sessions across the world, provided written submissions and that "one of the most senior people in the company has given 5 hours of testimony" to the MPs.

Facebook said in a blog post Monday that it has investigated thousands of apps after it emerged that Cambridge Analytica had harvested information on about 87 million users without their knowledge.

Kogan had established Global Science Research (GSR), which was granted access to Twitter data.

Zuckerberg has testified in front of Congress about the misuse of data, and lawmakers have called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and 's India-born CEO Sundar Pichai to testify as well.

People had to register as a project collaborator to get access to the full data set, and more than 280 people from almost 150 institutions did so, including university researchers and those from companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Another case of too little, too late...

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