Amid ongoing investigation in the wake of Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has suspended thousands of apps on suspicion of collecting large amounts of data of its users. According to the social media giant, the suspended apps were associated with roughly 400 developers. However, it clarified that all the suspended apps did not pose a threat to users. According to a blog authored by the company’s vice president of partnerships Ime Archibong, many of the suspended apps were not live and were still in their test phase. Archibong said that some of the developers have been subjected to rigorous questioning. But several of the suspended apps were inappropriately sharing data obtained from the social media platform and some were even making users data public without protecting their identity.
The development comes during the ongoing investigation which was launched last year following the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal. The scandal involved a firm purchasing data of several million users of Facebook to help a political party during the last US presidential elections. The data was collected and packaged by a maker of a quiz mobile app. The social media giant was under fire after this development and later launched an investigation. The investigation, which began in 2018, initially saw the suspension of 200 apps in May same year and the number jumped to 400 in August 2018. It is only now that Facebook has revealed that it investigated millions of apps as part of the ongoing investigation and has suspended tens of thousands of them.
This exposes its promise to provide better privacy to its users still remains a work in progress. Earlier in July, the Federal Trade Commission announced a USD 5 billion settlement, highest in the history of tech companies, with Facebook over privacy breaches. Federal authorities and lawmakers have even issued fines for its Libra cryptocurrency project. As part of the settlement, the company also rolled out new requirements for third-party developers which included a mandatory yearly compliance review.