Facebook said on Friday it has suspended tens of thousands of apps on the social networking platform, as part of the company’s ongoing app developer investigation in response to the Cambridge Analytica row.
Facebook's App Developer Investigationh we began in March of 2018 as part of the company's response to the episode involving Cambridge Analytica.
“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.
The suspended apps are associated with about 400 developers, Facebook said, adding that it is not necessarily an indication that these apps were posing a threat to users.
In 2018, 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.”
Earlier this year, the company agreed to pay $5 billion fine to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to resolve a government probe into its privacy practices.
The FTC privacy probe was triggered last year by allegations that Facebook violated a 2012 consent decree and inappropriately shared information of 87 million users with British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
"Our new agreement with the FTC will bring its own set of requirements for bringing oversight to app developers. It requires developers to annually certify compliance with our policies. Any developer that doesn’t go along with these requirements will be held accountable," Facebook said.
“... We’re making progress. We won’t catch everything, and some of what we do catch will be with help from others outside Facebook,” the company added.