Facebook suspends 200 apps as a part of its audit following Cambridge Analytica scandal
Facebook has been facing flak ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal came into light. Nearly two months after the controversy first came out, the social media giant is ready to make amends. And the company has suspended around 200 apps as a part of its ongoing audits to weed out the third party apps that may have misused any user information.
The action is a part of Facebook's ongoing audit, wherein it has deputed internal and external experts to identify the apps that have misused user data using Facebook's platform till 2015. According to a blog post by the VP of Product Partnerships at Facebook Ime Archibong the social media site has investigated thousands of third-party apps and suspended 200 of them pending investigation to ascertain if they indeed misused any data.
"The investigation process is in full swing, and it has two phases. First, a comprehensive review to identify every app that had access to this amount of Facebook data. And second, where we have concerns, we will conduct interviews, make requests for information (RFI) - which ask a series of detailed questions about the app and the data it has access to - and perform audits that may include on-site inspections," Archibong said in the blog post.
The social media giant has said that if it finds any evidence of data misuse, it will ban the concerned third-party app and notify the people via Help Centre. The company did something similar to notify people that their information had been shared with Cambridge Analytica by an app called "This Is Your Digital Life".
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had announced an app audit on March 22. "We will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps," he had written in a post explaining the "Cambridge Analytica situation" and the steps that the company was taking to mitigate the situation.
Just under two months, Facebook has already started taking action by suspending the suspicious apps on its platform. While the company does acknowledge that there is a lot more to be done in order to prevent apps from misusing user data and that it will take time till the entire investigation is over, however, the update is definitely a welcoming step towards mitigating the damage already done.