NEWS23 September 2019

Facebook suspends ‘tens of thousands’ of apps

Data analytics News North America Privacy Technology

US – Facebook says it has suspended ‘tens of thousands’ of third-party apps from its platform as part of its ongoing investigation following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook on phone

Since March 2018, the company has been reviewing the app developers that had access to user data prior to 2014, when the site’s platform policies were changed.

To date, tens of thousands of apps have been suspended ‘for a variety of reasons', Facebook said in a blog post on Friday ( 20 September). 

The suspended apps are linked to around 400 developers, according to the company. They include some that were still in a testing phase and apps whose developers had not responded to Facebook’s request for information.

The company has banned apps completely ‘in a few cases’ – including an app called myPersonality – but said its investigation is not yet complete. Apps can be banned for reasons including ‘inappropriately sharing data’ obtained from Facebook and ‘making data publicly available without protecting people’s identity'. 

In addition to the investigation, Facebook’s agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), following its $5bn fine, means app developers will need to certify their compliance with policies every year.