Los Angeles, 21 September 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Facebook says it has suspended “tens of thousands” of apps as part of an investigation launched following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which huge volumes of data were harvested in a bid to manipulate public opinion.
The apps are linked to 400 developers and have been suspended for a number of reasons, the social media giant said in a statement released Friday, adding that the company’s probe was “by no means finished.”
The New York Times reported that the number of blocked apps was 69,000, citing filings from a state court in Boston.
The vast majority of apps were blocked for not cooperating with Facebook‘s investigation, while 10,000 were flagged for potentially misappropriating Facebook users’ personal data, the report said.
Six thousand were looked into due to the sheer number of people who had installed them.
The court documents said Facebook conducted a “detailed background check” of developers behind 2,000 apps to look for hidden interests or potential fraud, while 2,000 apps were subjected to a technical review looking at their data requests, according to the Times.
The numbers were made public by the state prosecutor in Massachusetts as part of a judicial probe into Facebook in the US state, despite efforts by the company to keep the information sealed.
The prosecutor is pushing for Facebook to reveal the names of the apps but the company has refused to disclose that information, the Times reported.
Facebook was put under massive pressure when it emerged in 2018 that the Cambridge Analytica data marketing firm had been illegally accessing the data of Facebook users via a quiz app over a period of five years.
In July, the company was fined 5 billion dollars by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violating consumer privacy.