Facebook banned a quiz app from its platform for refusing an inspection and concerns that data usage on as many as 4 million users was misused.
The social media company said Wednesday that it took action against the myPersonality app after it found user information was shared with researchers and companies “with only limited protections in place.”
Facebook said it would notify the app’s users that their data was misused. It’s only the second time Facebook has banned an app after it blocked one linked to political data usage mining firm Cambridge Analytica that sparked a privacy scandal.
The company said my personality was “mainly active” prior to 2012, and it wasn’t clear why Facebook was taking action now.
The app was created in 2007 by researcher David Stillwell and allowed users to take a personality questionnaire and get feedback on the results.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal sparked a wider investigation in March by Facebook, which said it had investigated thousands of apps and suspended more than 400 apps over data sharing concerns.
Cambridge Analytica obtained data on up to 87 million users. It was collected by an app, “This Is Your Digital Life,” created by researcher Aleksandr Kogan, which Facebook banned after it found out. (VOA)
In order to further secure candidates and campaign staff vulnerable to hackers and nation-state actors during the elections, Facebook has introduced additional tools to protect political campaigns in the US and around the world.
The social media giant has launched a pilot programme to expand its existing protections for users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.
“Candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, can add additional security protections to their Pages and accounts,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Monday.
“We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats,” Gleicher added.
Over the past year, the company has invested in new technology and more people to stay ahead of bad actors who are determined to use Facebook to disrupt elections.
“This pilot programme is an addition to our existing security tools and procedures, and we will apply what we learn to other elections in the US and around the world,” said Facebook.
“As we detect abuse, we will continue to share relevant information with law enforcement and other companies so we can maximise our effectiveness,” it added.
According to a report in Download, a working paper released last week revealed a significant drop-off in the engagements 570 fake news sites received on Facebook since the 2016 US presidential elections.
“At its peak, there were 200 million monthly engagements with the sites. As of July 2018, that’s dropped to 70 million,” the report added.
In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference.
“Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” he told the lawmakers.
The Facebook CEO apologised for what happened and took responsibility for everything. He also said that there is an online propaganda “arms race” with Russia and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.
“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he testified before a 44-Senator panel. (IANS)