Facebook Bans App That Inspired Cambridge Analytica and Suspends 400 Others
Rhett Jones, writing for Gizmodo:
In the midst of an app audit that will probably never end, Facebook gave us an update on its progress on Wednesday. While the company is still being stingy with information, it said 4 million users should expect a notification that a now-banned app called myPersonality may have misused their data. Additionally, Facebook says 400 other apps are currently suspended over suspicious activity.
Facebook’s troubles kicked off earlier this year when it revealed another personality app, This Is Your Digital Life, violated Facebook’s policies by providing user data to Cambridge Analytica, a data company working for the Trump presidential campaign. Making matters worse, the social network had known about the abuse since 2015. Following the worldwide realization that Facebook is a disastrously irresponsible company, it pledged to thoroughly review the apps on its service, ban bad actors, and notify any users that were potentially the victim of a data leak.
In its update on the app audit, Facebook said that it has decided to ban myPersonality, a personality quiz app, “for failing to agree to our request to audit and because it’s clear that they shared information with researchers as well as companies with only limited protections in place.” In May, Facebook suspended the app, which hadn’t been active since 2012, but now it’s dead and buried. MyPersonality originated at the University of Cambridge’s psychometrics department, which pioneered the novelty app that makes guesses about your personality based on your likes, posts, and other Facebook information. Aleksandr Kogan was a lecturer at Cambridge at the time that myPersonality was born, and went on to build the personality app that sold Facebook user data to Cambridge Analytica.
While Facebook is touting its progress, its hard not to feel like things are moving at an incredibly slow pace. The myPersonality app was suspended months ago, and Gizmodo reported on it back in March. On Wednesday, Facebook also said that it currently has 400 apps that are under review and are they are temporarily suspended. That doubles the number of suspended apps that it announced in May. It has not released a list of the apps that are under suspension.