Facebook suspends hundreds of apps amid data probe

Firm's audit aims to identify apps that had access to large amounts of information prior to a 2014 Facebook policy change

Facebook has suspended around 200 apps while it tries to work out whether they misused users’ personal data. It is understood the unnamed apps will now be unavailable while Facebook runs an analysis of their behaviour.

The audit will continue to identify apps that had access to large amounts of information prior to a 2014 Facebook policy change. Those whose behaviour raises concerns will then be further probed, Facebook said.

The move was announced by Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships Ime Archibong as the social media firm continues its attempts to deal with the damaging fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In a blog post updating Facebook users about the company’s investigations, Archibong wrote: “We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible.

To date thousands of apps have been investigated and around 200 have been suspended — pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data.”

He said that where evidence was found that apps did misuse data, Facebook would move to permanently ban them and notify people affected. The company has already issued new tools to users to try and provide clearer access app permissions and privacy settings.

There is a lot more work to be done to find all the apps that may have misused people's Facebook data - and it will take time, Archibong added.

The social network is facing continued pressure from lawmakers in the UK and US, and Zuckerberg has been threatened with a formal summons to appear before a parliamentary inquiry into fake news after a recent testimony by chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer was labelled unsatisfactory after he failed to answer a number of questions from MPs.

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