Facebook suspends 200 apps over data misuse

Facebook suspends 200 apps over data misuse

Facebook suspends 200 apps over data misuse

The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political-data firm at the center of Facebook's data privacy scandal, according to The New York Times.

A personality quiz on Facebook left the personal information of 3 million users exposed on a website where it was easy to read details on people's nature, such as their conscientiousness, agreeableness and neuroticisms, according to a new report Monday.

News of the investigation comes roughly two months after the company was accused of secretly harvesting the personal data of at least 87 million Facebook users to better identify individuals that could be targeted and influenced by specific marketing material. They had been passed from a university lecturer to some students for a course project on creating a tool for processing Facebook data.

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Ime Archibong, vice president of Product Partnerships at Facebook, said in a blog that the apps, which he did not specify in detail, will be subject to a thorough investigation as to whether they did in fact misuse any data. (NASDAQ:FB) went on to update its terms and conditions to maintain data privacy and restrict access from third-party apps.

A username and password was required to access the data online, but New Scientist reported that finding a valid username and password online was easy and could be done in "a single web search". The data allegedly includes information like age, gender, and relationship status of 4.3 million people. "Any data set that has enough attributes is extremely hard to anonymise", Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye at Imperial College London said.

Facebook did not name the apps that have been suspended, but says the developers have been notified.

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"Cambridge Analytica may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules", the added. "It will show people if they or their friends installed an app that misused data before 2015 - just as we did for Cambridge Analytica".

Federal investigators have reportedly questioned potential witnesses, including former employees and banks that conducted business with the company, a US official and other people familiar with the probe told the Times.

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