Social media giant Facebook has just revealed yet another fiasco when it comes to the data of its users. As per the latest information, it revealed that it shared personal details of its “inactive users” with thousands of developers. The company shared somewhat ambiguous details about this issue in a dedicated post on Facebook Newsroom. As part of the disclosure, it also plans to improve the “data limits for infrequently used apps”. Developers were able to access data of users who had not used the app “in more than 90 days”. Let’s take a closer look at the details regarding the latest user data fiasco from Facebook here. Also Read - Microsoft is closing down Mixer and partnering with Facebook Gaming
Facebook shares data of inactive users; details
According to the post, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, the vice president of Platform Partnerships shared the information regarding the issue. He noted that this issue is going on “from the last several months”. About 5,000 developers continuously received the user data including language and gender beyond the 90 day period. Facebook noted that it has not seen evidence of more personal data leaking out beyond initial permissions. It also noted that it fixed the issue “the day after” discovering it. However, Facebook will continue to investigate the issue to focus on “transparency around any major updates.” The problem here is that as per the Facebook guidelines, developers should not receive the user data after the user becomes “inactive”. Also Read - Facebook testing lock feature on Messenger for iOS
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Facebook automatically classifies users as inactive if they have not used the app for more than 90 days. It introduced this measure to tighten its user data policies after the Cambridge Analytica scandal back in 2018. The company did not reveal the exact timeline of this new issue. Also Read - Sign in with Apple puts user privacy and security at risk: OpenID Foundation
Beyond the absence of the timeline, we are also not sure about the number of users affected by this issue. To counter the issue, the company also introduced new “Platform Terms and Developer Policies” for businesses and developers. This will ensure that they can easily “understand their responsibility to safeguard data”.