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Facebook Suspended Thousands of Apps for Violating Policies

Kurt Wagner

(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. has suspended “tens of thousands” of third-party apps that were using the company’s developer tools as part of a review Facebook started following the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal from early 2018. The number of suspended apps was at 400 in August 2018.

“To date, this investigation has addressed millions of apps. Of those, tens of thousands have been suspended for a variety of reasons while we continue to investigate,” Facebook wrote in a blog post Friday. Not all of these apps were necessarily abusing or selling user data. Many were not “live” when they were suspended, and in other cases, apps were suspended after developers didn’t respond to Facebook requests for more information.

Facebook started its investigation after it was revealed in early 2018 that a third-party app had collected the personal information of millions of Facebook users and sold that information to political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook was widely criticized for its failure to protect user privacy, and pledged to audit its developer relationships to find other potential issues. Facebook said Friday the investigation is “ongoing.”

The Cambridge Analytica revelation set off what became arguably the most damaging year in Facebook’s history, which included multiple congressional hearings and a probe by the Federal Trade Commission that led to a $5 billion fine.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Molly Schuetz, Andrew Pollack

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