Facebook cuts off ‘hundreds of thousands’ of apps in privacy crackdown following Cambridge Analytica scandal
- Facebook has shut down hundreds of thousands of apps that didn’t follow the rules around its new review process, created in the wake of its privacy scandal
- The firm says the improved process will help to better protect users’ information
- It comes in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica row which affected 87M users
Facebook is cutting off ‘hundreds of thousands’ of inactive apps as part of a broader effort to improve user data privacy on the platform.
The social media giant said it had shut down apps that didn’t follow the rules around its new review process, created in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
In May, Facebook announced that all apps using Facebook’s application programming interface [API] would have to submit to a review before August 1.
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Facebook is cutting off ‘hundreds of thousands’ of inactive apps as part of a broader effort to improve user data privacy on the platform. The move comes in the wake of its privacy scandal
It was revealed in March that more than 87 million users’ data had been harvested without their knowledge and shared with Trump-affiliated research firm Cambridge Analytica.
Since then, Facebook has introduced enhanced privacy controls for users, investigated apps that had access to large amounts of user data and even kicked some off of its platform that it believed misused data.
The firm suspended some 200 apps in May that were found to have misused data.
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Now, it’s cracking down on suspicious apps even further.
‘Our goal with all these changes is to ensure that we better protect people’s Facebook information while also enabling developers to build great social experiences – like managing a group, planning a trip or getting concert tickets for your favorite band,’ said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of Product Partnerships, in a blog post.
Facebook announced at its F8 Developers Conference earlier this year that developers and businesses had until August 1 to submit their apps for internal review.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) has redesigned the site’s user controls following the Cambridge Analytica row, as well as cracked down on suspicious third-party apps
This requires developers whose apps require specific API access to verify their business and sign a terms contract that includes information about security requirements and provisions around data.
Facebook said that if it flags an app as needing review, developers will have a limited amount of time to respond.
If they don’t, Facebook will ‘remove the app’s access to APIs that require approval.’
Archibong added that developers won’t lose API access while Facebook is in the process of reviewing their app, so long as they comply with the company’s policies.
WHAT HAS FACEBOOK DONE TO ADDRESS PRIVACY CONCERNS?
Facebook is giving its privacy tools a makeover as it reels from criticisms over its data practices and faces tighter European regulations in the coming months.
The changes won’t affect Facebook’s privacy policies or the types of data it gathers about its users.
But the company hopes its 2.2 billion users will have an easier time navigating its complex and often confusing privacy and security settings.
Facebook is giving its privacy tools a makeover as it reels from criticisms over its data practices and faces tighter European regulations in the coming months. This image shows how the settings will appear before (left) and after (right) the redesign
Facebook says it’s trying to make the controls easier to find and to give users a simpler way to access and download the data it collects on them.
The announcement follows revelations that Trump-affiliated consulting firm got data on millions of unsuspecting Facebook users.
Facebook is also facing criticism for collecting years of data on call and text histories from Android users.
In a written statement, Erin Egan, vice president and chief privacy officer, policy, and Ashlie Beringer, vice president and deputy general counsel, said: ‘Last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies and help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data.
This image shows a redesign of Facebook’s privacy tools. The changes won’t affect Facebook’s privacy policies or the types of data it gathers on users, but the company hopes users will have an easier time navigating its complex settings menus
Among the changes, Facebook is making data settings and tools easier to find, is introducing a new privacy shortcuts menu, and is adding tools to find, download and delete your Facebook data
‘We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more to keep people informed.
‘We’re taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people more in control of their privacy.
‘Most of these updates have been in the works for some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.’
Among the changes, Facebook is making data settings and tools easier to find, is introducing a new privacy shortcuts menu, and is adding tools to find, download and delete your Facebook data.
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