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Facebook says it has suspended 200 apps for possible misuse of data

Facebook says it has suspended 200 apps for possible misuse of data

If the company finds an app misused user data, Facebook users will be notified through a special website.

Facebook has suspended some 200 apps as part of its investigation into whether companies misused personal user data gathered from the social network. In light of that, Mark Zuckerberg promised Facebook would review all existing apps with access to large amounts of data to see if there was any "suspicious activity".

The company says it is probing thousands of apps on top of those already suspended. Thousands of different apps have gone through investigations thus far, and Facebook said that any app refusing to be cooperative or that failed the system's audit would be banned. Some Facebook users took a personality test within an app on the site that harvested data about them, which Cambridge Analytica then allegedly used during President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign. However, the social media giant is promising to invest heavily to ensure that the investigation is "as thorough and timely as possible".

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So Facebook will not be doing on site inspections in every suspicious app instance. Even those 200 suspended apps will need to be further investigated via interviews and RFI requests, and we can likely expect the figure to go up as more third-party apps are audited.

The investigation isn't the only measure Facebook has taken to protect its users. "As part of this process we will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica", the company said weeks ago. So it's not clear whether or not it will provide a public list of apps it bans for misusing user data - or whether banned apps will only be visible to logged in users whose personal data was specifically misused.

"We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible", said Ime Archibong, Facebook's head of product partnerships, on Monday.