Facebook suspends thousands of applications over privacy reasons

Facebook has suspended thousands of applications from its social networking platform over privacy reasons. The suspended applications were linked with around 400 developers, said Facebook.

The firm came under immense pressure last year after information regarding Cambridge Analytica accessing data of several users without consent came to the fore.

Cambridge Analytica is accused of harvesting data of millions of Facebook users and utilizing it for political advertising purposes.

The US FTC had fined Facebook with $5 billion in July, probably the biggest fine ever imposed upon a company for abusing consumers’ privacy.

What is the reason behind this suspension?

The Cambridge Analytica 2018 scandal tarnished Facebook’s reputation hugely. The firm has since experienced lawsuits as well as international criticism. And so, it is now looking forward to enhancing the firm’s privacy safeguards as well as its image.

As a part of this, Facebook had launched a privacy investigation last year into applications running on its platform. This review helps the firm better understand the abuse pattern and abolish bad acting developers, said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Vice President of product partnerships.

What is known about these apps?

Facebook has issued little information on the applications of developers in question. As per a statement, the removal of the applications wasn’t necessarily a sign that they presented any threat to users. Several apps weren’t even live and were in their testing stage still when they were suspended, said Archibong.

In a few cases, developers were even subjected to intense questioning after the suspension. A few apps were completely suspended for reasons which include inappropriate sharing of data collected from Facebook or for making the data available publicly.

An app known as myPersonality was banned as it was found sharing data with companies and researchers with just limited protections. In fact, it even declined to participate in one of the audit rounds, as per Facebook. The review process of the app is still ongoing.