Facebook promised to offer an update on its app investigation and audit announced after it was revealed that UK-based Cambridge Analytica used the social media to scrape data of 87 million users. On March 21, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company will investigate all the apps that had access to large amounts of user information before it changed platform policies in 2014. The company is now shedding some more light on that process.
Facebook says the investigation process is in full swing and it is being carried out in two phases. The first phase is a comprehensive review to identify every app that had access to a large amount of Facebook data. The second phase, according to Facebook, is to conduct interviews, make requests for information (RFI) where it has concerns. The social media giant details that RFI asks a series of detailed questions about the app and the data it has access to and perform audits that might include on-site inspections.
“We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible,” Ime Archibong, VP of Product Partnerships, wrote in a blog post.
Facebook says it has investigated thousands of apps to date and has suspended around 200 of them. These apps have been suspended “pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data.” Facebook says it will ban them if it finds evidence that these or other apps did misuse data. Facebook has also created a dedicated website to inform affected users.
The new microsite shows Facebook users whether they or their friends installed an app that misused data before 2015, just like it did with Cambridge Analytica. Ime also acknowledges that there is a lot of work to be done to find all the app that may have misused people’s Facebook data and it also confirms that the process will time.
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During the Congressional hearing, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that it is adding 20,000 new people to its security team to avoid Cambridge Analytica-style breach and spread of misinformation on its platform. “We are investing heavily to make sure this investigation is as thorough and timely as possible. We will keep you updated on our progress,” Archibong added.