Facebook suspends about 200 apps that may have misused data

Facebook suspends about 200 apps that may have misused data

They were just a "typical member of their industry caught in a media firestorm", as Gizmodo put it. It now appears that a second personality quiz app may have done exactly the same.

And now, we have a triplet.

GSR developed a Facebook app that reportedly collected data from people who signed up to use the app as well as information from their Facebook friends, without the explicit approval of all involved. It was meant to be stored and shared anonymously, but "such poor precautions were taken that deanonymising would not be hard", it reports.

Facebook told CNNMoney the developers behind the 200 apps have been notified. According to New Scientist, the username and password needed to access the data were available on the code-sharing website GitHub for four years. A simple web search would lead you to the working credentials.

Experts are anxious that the researchers didn't do enough to anonymize the data, as well. (Kogan was previously on the myPersonality project, as well). Companies like Twitter tend to have access to less private information than Facebook.

All of this data was then scooped up and the names removed before it was put on a website to share with other researchers.

"There is a lot more work to be done to find all the apps that may have misused people's Facebook data and it will take time", Mr Archibong said.

This, however, was not how the data was handled.

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"We've received strong feedback from regulators and judicial systems outside of Europe that they want us to be directly responsive to them and not be required to go through Europe on data protection matters", Facebook said.

The document revealed that political consultancy AggregateIQ spent around 1.6 million United States dollars (£1.2 million) on adverts from the Vote Leave Facebook page during the 2016 European Union referendum campaign, as well as 329,000 dollars (£242,000) for BeLeave, 51,500 dollars (£37,900) for Veterans for Britain and 32,700 dollars (£24,100) for the DUP Vote to Leave.

You could re-identify someone online from a status update, gender and date.
The app is now under investigation for potentially having violated the platform's policies due to the language used in the app and on its website to describe its data-sharing practices.

Facebook is auditing each and every app that has access to the data of its over 2 billion users and has already suspended 200 apps which failed to comply with its policies, the social media giant said on Monday.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is investigating myPersonality.

The app called "myPersonality" was created by University of Cambridge researchers.

Over 280 people from almost 150 institutions eventually gained access to the full data set by registering as a collaborator to the project.

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