Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Facebook suspends 200 apps over possible data misuse

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower warns of 'new Cold War' online Zuckerberg agrees to face EU Parliament over Facebook data use
Patty Aguilar | 16 May, 2018, 07:33

The FBI and the Department of Justice are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct data firm involved in a massive data breach in March, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

In a blog post on Monday, Facebook's VP of product partnerships, Ime Archibong, said that thousands of apps have already been investigated and 200 suspended, pending a more detailed review into whether they actually did misuse data. But prosecutors have shared few details, and the investigation into the company and its business practices appears to be in its early stages. But now there are reports that not all the data was deleted.

LESTER: The whole Cambridge Analytica scandal never would've happened because Facebook would've done what it was supposed to do, which is cut off access to all these third-party apps. The data came from another online personality quiz called myPersonality which had over 6 million participants.

Facebook blocked around 200 apps for interfering with user's privacy and misusing their data. If Facebook determines that the apps did misuse user data, the apps will be banned from the service and impacted users would be notified.

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Furthermore, it is also said that the app has 22 million status updates from more than 150,000 users. Hopefully Cambridge University manages to crack down on its approval process, and that social media sites keep mindful about what they allow through their platforms.

The whole access-fiasco has been under the control of David Stillwell and Michal Kosinski at the University Psychometrics Centre. Aleksandr Kogan developed an app "thisisyourdigitallife" and according to New Scientist, he was effective as part of the myPersonality project until mid-2014. Following the submission of a report, Facebook's bug and data abuse bounty team would work to determine credible reports, shut down undesired apps, and take legal action against the company that's buying or selling the data if the need arises.

A US official also told the newspaper that investigators were also questioning Facebook in the probe. All of this data was then scooped up and the names removed before it was put on a website to share with other researchers.

Investigators have contacted Facebook, according to the newspaper.

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