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Facebook Probe Leads to a Big Change

The company is suspending tens of thousands of apps
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2019 2:15 PM CDT
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In this April 11, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(Newser) – Looks like Facebook is cleaning house. The social media giant says its "app developer investigation" has led the company to suspend tens of thousands of apps, TechCrunch reports. Some were banned outright "for any number of reasons including inappropriately sharing data obtained from us, making data publicly available without protecting people’s identity or something else that was in clear violation of our policies," the company said in a blog. The move follows the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw millions of Facebook profiles mined for data to boost President Trump's 2016 campaign.

Just what are Facebook apps? They come in various forms, from a game like Candy Crush to a streaming app like Spotify, per the New York Times. Some use Facebook to log into their own app, but all seek access to Facebook-member data in order to tack on new users. The move follows a wave of regulatory interest after Facebook users learned that apps cull their data without people knowing. "And we are far from finished," adds Facebook. "As each month goes by, we have ... reexamined the ways that developers can build using our platforms." BoingBoing notes that Facebook posted the blog late on Friday because "that's what you do with bad news." (Read more Facebook stories.)

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