Facebook goes after apps that access its users' data, suspends 200

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After, another major social media outlet Twitter has now been caught up in the data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, the British political consulting firm which collected the data of almost 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge and permission, according to a media report.

Facebook has failed to fully answer 39 questions submitted by United Kingdom members of parliament that aim to explore the social network's approach to data privacy and fake news, according to the parliamentary committee charged with investigating the matter.

Undeterred, Facebook answered a different question, saying that as of 2014, it had reviewed all apps seeking access to anything beyond basic data fields and rejected about half of those - some 299,000 apps in total.

The company also released confidential agreements signed with Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan and whistle-blower Christopher Wylie, requiring the deletion of Facebook users' data gathered by Dr Kogan's company GSR. Thousands more are being investigated as the company attempts to clean up its privacy act post-Cambridge Analytica.

"We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible".

The social network will be conducting a "thorough investigation" to check whether these apps have misused user data or not.

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For one, what criteria did Facebook use to decide if an app should be suspended? Where we find evidence that these or other apps did misuse data, we will ban them and notify people via this website.

If the former, the final tally could (hopefully) end up much lower than 200.

We also don't know what criteria Facebook will use to determine whether a company is in violation of its policies, or how extensive each individual examination will be.

Facebook suspended the app on April 7, after it accessed the "Big Five" personality scores of 3.1 million users, and two million status updates from over 150,000 users, including details about age, gender and relationship status from 4.3 million people.

It's even unclear whether or not Facebook auditors will have the ability to ascertain for certain that a developer misused data. Ideally, Facebook's in-person inspections of these hundreds of app-makers will turn up the truth sooner rather than later. Facebook took some time to publicize which Facebook users CA had data on, and still hasn't revealed which users had data scraped by Canadian consultancy firm AggregateIQ. But these 200 apps will undoubtedly add to the 87 million users affected by Cambridge Analytica alone.

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