On Tuesday, Facebook revealed that as many as 4 million users might have had their data compromised by a third party app.
According to a KFOR report, the company made the announcement in a post that the app myPersonality may have misused data it collected. Mark Zuckerberg’s company banned the app, and soon, the popular social media platform will inform those users whose information was compromised.
While Facebook has no confirmation that myPersonality took data from friends of the 4 million users, the app failed to comply with a requested audit, which raised suspicions. Plus, the social media company said, “it’s clear that they shared information with researchers as well as companies with only limited protections in place.”
In the post, the Vice President of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong wrote, “Since launching our investigation in March, we have investigated thousands of apps. We have suspended more than 400 due to concerns around the developers who built them or how the information people chose to share with the app may have been used — which we are now investigating in much greater depth.”
Just four months ago, the company revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a firm that collected political data and worked for now President Donald Trump’s campaign, illegally gathered data of 10s of millions of users using the “thisisyourdigitallife” app. Many Facebook users found out that their data was used by the now-closed firm.
An Update on Our App Investigation and Audit https://t.co/EOAqOWeunO
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) May 14, 2018
The possible misuse of 4 million users’ data isn’t Facebook’s only recent problem, either. Apple recently warned the world’s biggest social media platform that its VPN-based iOS app Onavo Protect violated Apple’s stricter privacy standards, which went into effect in June.
Onavo Protect not only violated the new policy that governs data collection limits but also violated an agreement not to use gathered data for advertising or other unrelated purposed, according to an Engadget report.
After a meeting on August 16, Facebook voluntarily agreed to remove the app, and Onavo Protect is no longer available in Apple’s app store. Many people believe that Apple’s stricter privacy policies came about as a result of the fiasco with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.
In March, Facebook began investigating apps, and to date, removed more than 400 for possible privacy issues, according to the Facebook Newsroom. The investigation led to many of the social network’s recent changes, which it implemented to help protect its users.
One thing Facebook users can do to protect their privacy on the social network is to be careful about allowing third-party apps’ permissions through the social network. Only use trusted and verified third-party apps with Facebook credentials. Unfortunately, when these types of apps also receive information about Facebook friends, it becomes much tougher for users to control.