Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps from 400 developers in ongoing App Developer investigation

By Shubham Sharma | Published on Sep 21 2019
Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps from 400 developers in ongoing App Developer investigation

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HIGHLIGHTS

Facebook says it has suspended tens of thousands of apps.

400 developers’ apps were removed.

Some apps were removed for being inactive or were in testing while some violated Facebook’s policies.

While Facebook may not be a prime example of how a social media company is supposed to protect user’s privacy, it seems to be trying its best to do the right thing. Back in March 2018, the company started an App Developer investigation to review numerous apps on its platform, after the whole Cambridge Analytica fiasco happened. While the inspection is said to be still ongoing, Facebook has now announced that it has inspected “millions of apps” and has suspended tens of thousands of them for a number of reasons. These apps are said to be associated with about 400 developers. 

Many banned apps were apparently not live on the platform and didn’t pose any threat to users since they were being tested. However, some apps are said to be banned for either sharing inappropriately data that was obtained by Facebook, or making it publicly available without protecting user’s identity, or were in violation of the company’s policies. Facebook has also provided with examples of apps that are banned due to improper data usage. The app called myPersonality is said to have been banned for sharing information with researchers and companies with limited protection in place and refusing to participate in a Facebook audit. 

The social media platform has also taken legal action against some developers. It filed a lawsuit against a South Korean data analytics company Rankwave that didn’t cooperate with the company's investigation and it also sued LionMobi and JediMobi companies that used their apps to infect a user’s phone. Soon after Cambridge-Analytica, Facebook also sued two  Ukrainian men for allegedly scraping user data illegally. 

All of the aforementioned announcements come via Facebook’s VP of Product Partnerships, Ime Archibong. Archibong also states that the company is learning more from its ongoing investigation and is making efforts to have a tighter hold on how developers access user’s data. While Facebook is aiming to place user privacy first with its stricter rules and new guidelines, it remains to be seen how the company fares in the long run.

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Shubham Sharma

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