Facebook has been under a microscope for mishandling of consumer data. The good thing though is that the company has been vigilant and is taking steps to protect consumer data. In an attempt to do so, Facebook has announced that the company is suspending “tens of thousands” of apps as part of an ongoing investigation into improper data use. This comes just after the FTC and DOJ launched multiple investigations into the company.
Facebook noted that most of the apps that were removed have been sourced back to small developers, 400 to be exact. It’s not clear how such a small number of developers managed to publish thousands of apps without coming under Facebook’s radar. Facebook, however, hasn’t revealed if they have taken legal action against the developers or even banned them permanently from accessing the platform. The Verge has received the following statement from a Facebook spokesperson, outlining further information regarding the suspension.
Yes, the suspensions have been on a rolling basis. The suspension of an app from the Facebook platform does not necessarily indicate misuse of data using that app. In a number of instances, we have suspended an app not because of any known or suspected misuse of data by that app, but because of the app’s association with a person or an entity which may have misused Facebook data in violation of our policies. Suspension also does not indicate an app had access to, or acquired, significant user data, as some apps associated with a suspicious entity may be “test” apps that were never released to the public. Quickly identifying potential incidents of data misuse is particularly challenging, as more complex and time-consuming technical analyses and investigative steps such as in-person interviews of app developers are often needed to accurately determine whether a developer has in fact misused user data.
Back in July, Facebook paid a record $5 billion for Cambridge Analytica scandal and with the latest series of anti-trust investigations, it looks like the company isn’t out of danger yet.