Facebook will limit developer access to user data in wake of Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has finally made his official response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, outlining some steps the firm was taking to fix the problems.

Zuckerberg said the following via a Facebook post earlier today.

First, we will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps. That includes people whose data Kogan misused here as well.

Second, we will restrict developers’ data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse. For example, we will remove developers’ access to your data if you haven’t used their app in 3 months. We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in — to only your name, profile photo, and email address. We’ll require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data. And we’ll have more changes to share in the next few days.

Third, we want to make sure you understand which apps you’ve allowed to access your data. In the next month, we will show everyone a tool at the top of your News Feed with the apps you’ve used and an easy way to revoke those apps’ permissions to your data. We already have a tool to do this in your privacy settings, and now we will put this tool at the top of your News Feed to make sure everyone sees it.

Facebook has come under fire for neither acknowledging its negligence in providing the APIs which allowed Cambridge Analytica to gain access to its user data, nor for neglecting to acknowledge or fix the issue for a year after it was brought to its attention, nor did the firm actually issue an apology or say the words “sorry”.

The firm had already suffered a beating in the stock market, and with legislative enquires pending from both sides of the Atlantic, this is surely not the end of the story.

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