Facebook has suspended tens of thousands of apps for various reasons as part of an investigation the company launched last year in response to a major data privacy scandal.
The suspension of these apps underscores how data privacy issues continue to plague the world’s largest social network and could be larger than anticipated.
The removals come as part of an ongoing investigation into how developers use data, which the company started after the Cambridge Analytica scandal in March 2018. The news also reveals that the platform is home to more problematic apps than previously thought.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which uncovered how information from millions of Facebook profiles was used to influence opinion during Brexit and the 2016 US election, resulted in political fallout, investigations and a record fine of $5bn imposed against Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission in July 2019. Under that agreement Facebook will also be held to a new set of requirements to bring oversight to app developers, requiring them to comply with policies and undergo annual certifications.
Facebook banned an app called myPersonality that refused to comply with the company’s audit and reportedly shared information with researchers and companies with only limited protections in place. It also took legal action against the data analytics company Rankwave, filing a lawsuit in California after the South Korean firm failed to comply with its investigation.