Threat Intelligence

5/14/2018
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Facebook Suspends 200 Apps

Thousands of apps have been investigated as Facebook determines which had access to large amounts of user data before its 2014 policy changes.

Facebook is following through on a massive app investigation and audit promised by CEO Mark Zuckerberg back in March following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In an update posted today, Facebook said it has investigated thousands of apps and suspended "around 200" while it inspects them. 

The company is taking a closer look at apps that had access to large amounts of information prior to policy changes it made in 2014. That year, Facebook implemented restrictions to limit the amount of data apps could access. Before 2014, apps didn't need to request permission to collect data on users' friends. After 2014, friends had to consent for their data to be collected.

These limitations prevent the extensive data collection of apps like the personality quiz created by Aleksandr Kogan, who shared his trove of information on millions of Facebook users with Cambridge Analytica. Kogan's quiz was created before 2014, so his app - and others created in the same timeframe - could gather data on millions of people without their knowledge.

In the first phase of its investigation, Facebook is reviewing all apps that had this level of data access. The second phase will involve interviews and "requests for information," including inquiries about the app and its data access, as well as potential audits and on-site inspections.

Read more here.

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