Facebook is investigating at least 200 apps that might have misused user data

In March, following Facebook’s notorious knowledge privateness scandal, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced a full audit of all Facebook-connected apps. 

“We have to guarantee that there aren’t every other Cambridge Analyticas on the market, or of us who’ve improperly accessed knowledge,” Zuckerberg mentioned.

Unfortunately, it seems there might have been others, because the audit has uncovered one other 200 Cambridge Analytica-type apps on the market. 

Facebook has suspended these apps, pending additional investigations into every app developer’s potential knowledge misuse.

In a weblog submit titled “An Update on Our App Investigation and Audit”, Facebook VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong mentioned the outcomes of the corporate’s probe into apps that “had access to large amounts of [user] information”, earlier than Facebook restricted unfettered knowledge entry in 2014. 

To examine every app, Facebook’s safety groups are utilizing a mixture of distant interviews, data requests (RFIs) about what knowledge an app-maker nonetheless has saved, and on-site inspections. 

The investigation, which Archibong says is “in full swing”, has coated hundreds of apps to this point (no phrase on what number of apps Facebook has left to scrutinize). 

Out of these hundreds, he says, “around 200 have been suspended — pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data.”

If Facebook discovers an app has misused knowledge, it’s going to immediately “ban” the app, after which submit data on this web page to let customers know if the banned apps had entry to their knowledge. 

While Archibong admits that “there is a lot more work to be done” to search out all potential violators of Facebook’s insurance policies, “we are investing heavily to make sure this investigation is as thorough and timely as possible.”

Estimating the extent of the harm

Outside of that key 200 determine, Facebook’s revelations go away lots of essential particulars out. 

For one, what standards did Facebook use to resolve if an app needs to be suspended? Were these 200 apps chosen just because they requested or acquired consumer knowledge, or as a result of Facebook already has proof or suspicion that they held onto and bought the information?

If the previous, the ultimate tally might (hopefully) find yourself a lot decrease than 200. 

Cambridge Analytica affected 87 million users. What will the final count be?

Cambridge Analytica affected 87 million customers. What will the ultimate rely be?

We additionally don’t know what standards Facebook will use to find out whether or not an organization is in violation of its insurance policies, or how in depth every particular person examination will likely be. 

It’s even unclear whether or not or not Facebook auditors may have the flexibility to establish for sure developer misused knowledge. 

In 2016, Facebook believed CA when it mentioned that it had deleted the information it had saved, solely to search out out the reality in 2018 after a whistleblower got here ahead. Ideally, Facebook’s in-person inspections of those tons of of app-makers will flip up the reality sooner moderately than later. 

And, after all, we don’t know but how lengthy it’ll take for Facebook to uncover which customers had knowledge obtained by these apps. Facebook took a while to publicize which Facebook customers CA had knowledge on, and nonetheless hasn’t revealed which customers had knowledge scraped by Canadian consultancy agency AggregateIQ

It could also be months or longer earlier than we all know for sure which of the 200 apps acquired entry to our private knowledge. But these 200 apps will undoubtedly add to the 87 million customers affected by Cambridge Analytica alone. 

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Publish Date: 2018-05-14 19:59:36

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