Facebook Bans 200 Mobile Apps Following the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

By Shivam Srivastava
2. min read
Last update on: July 16, 2020

Following the Cambridge Analytica Data Privacy Scandal involving Facebook that came into the limelight in March 2018, the social media giant has banned over 200 apps from using its API.

As promised by Mark Zuckerberg both in the court and in the changed Facebook Data Privacy guidelines, strict action had been taken against the mobile apps that were taking our users’ private information in the wrong intention using Facebook’s API.

Along with removing the rights of fetching information related to the user and their friends’ Facebook has gone back to analyze all the apps that are using its API, ever since the news of third party apps using user data without their clear black and white consent came out.

And it was in this audit that they found 200 apps misusing the information, which have now been banned from using Facebook’s API completely.

In Facebook’s official blog post, Ime Archibong, the VP of Facebook Product Partnerships, said –

“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.”

Facebook said that they are using internal and external teams to investigate these 200 apps further to gauge the extent of data that they have collected.

While Facebook refrained from giving out a list of apps that were banned, they revealed that myPersonality mobile app was one of the banned apps.

The app is known to have gathered personal psychological data that were shared by more than three million of the app users who had taken the app’s “psychometric” test through Facebook.

A  standalone investigation by the New Scientist revealed that all the data that they collected were passed on to the qualifying researchers of The Psychometrics Centre of Cambridge University.

Ime Archibong, the director of strategic relation at Facebook said,

“We suspended the myPersonality app almost a month ago because we believe that it may have violated Facebook’s policies. We are currently investigating the app, and if myPersonality refuses to co-operate or fails our audit, we will ban it.”

Meantime, Facebook has announced that it will start notifying the users via the website if their data was being misused. “It will show people if they or their friends installed an app that misused data before 2015 — just as we did for Cambridge Analytica,” the social media firm said.

Shivam Srivastava
Shivam Srivastava
Marcom Manager
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