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m3n4.net November 19, 2018


Facebook suspends 200 apps for misusing user data

15 May 2018, 10:16 | Tara Lloyd

Facebook suspends 200 apps for misusing user data

Another Facebook data leak exposed information of 3 million people

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.

Before it did, former employees had told Gizmodo that they knew the writing was on the wall for the data analytics company, but they didn't realize how fast the flames would engulf it.

New Scientist described the data as being "highly sensitive, revealing personal details of Facebook users, such as the results of psychological tests".

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.

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"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", the executive noted.

Kogan had established Global Science Research (GSR), which was granted access to Twitter data.

"It will show people if they or their friends installed an app that misused data before 2015 - just as we did for Cambridge Analytica", Archibong said. Companies like Twitter tend to have access to less private information than Facebook. New Scientist reports that some 280 people at different technology companies were given access and, somewhere along the way, that data ended up on a website that was very insecure.

All of this data was then scooped up and the names removed before it was put on a website to share with other researchers.

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To inspect each app, Facebook's security teams are using a combination of remote interviews, information requests (RFIs) about what data an app-maker still has stored, and on-site inspections.

The document revealed that political consultancy AggregateIQ spent around 1.6 million United States dollars (£1.2 million) on adverts from the Vote Leave Facebook page during the 2016 European Union referendum campaign, as well as 329,000 dollars (£242,000) for BeLeave, 51,500 dollars (£37,900) for Veterans for Britain and 32,700 dollars (£24,100) for the DUP Vote to Leave. However, this is yet another reminder that when you agree to sharing your data with one app, it is going to be mass circulated, ending up online.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is investigating myPersonality. The university says the app was created before the data set's controllers - David Stillwell and Michal Kosinski, at the University's Psychometrics Centre - joined the university.

Over 280 people from almost 150 institutions eventually gained access to the full data set by registering as a collaborator to the project.

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