As an update to the on-going crackdown on apps with access to user info, Facebook has suspended tens of thousands of apps since 2018. The crackdown was started in March last year after the company landed in hot soup on the Cambridge Analytica scandal which revealed how data obtained from the company was used to influence UK’s Brexit poll and the 2016 US elections.
As part of the on-going App Developer Investigation, Facebook has already addressed millions of apps to date.
The already yanked out applications belong to about 400 developers. But that does not mean that these applications posed a threat to its users.
“This is not necessarily an indication that these apps were posing a threat to people,” the company said in a blog post
“Many were not live but were still in their testing phase when we suspended them. It is not unusual for developers to have multiple test apps that never get rolled out,” the blog further continued.
Reasons that lead to a permanent ban of applications either involved “inappropriately sharing data obtained,” and publicizing it without user consent or violation of Facebook’s policies. An example of this is an application called myPersonality, which Facebook says shared information with researchers and companies but refused to take part in the on-going audit.
Apart from cracking down on applications, Facebook has reportedly shut down several APIs that allowed apps to access specific user information. Plus, the company has upsized its team of regulators who work on investigation and enforcement against malicious actors.
Moving forward, the company is working to install new rules that were part of the agreement with the FTC aimed at monitoring app developers. Besides, the on-going investigations are still “far from finished.”
“…across the board, we’re making progress. We won’t catch everything, and some of what we do catch will be with help from others outside Facebook.” the blog post read.