Whether or not it’s directly responsible, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has motivated (forced) Facebook to up its privacy game. Ever since the news came out, Facebook has been busy revamping its services and adding new controls that supposedly enhance our privacy.
As part of the damage repair process, the company also announced its App Developer Investigation plans. It said the ones who don’t get a green signal will be removed. So, along the same lines, Facebook has now suspended over ‘tens of thousands’ of apps from around 400 developers over privacy issues.
Facebook believes these apps are misusing private user data collected via its platform, for example, by inappropriately sharing it or making it publically available while not protecting the users’ identity, among others.
While some apps have been suspended permanently due to the above-mentioned reasons, Facebook has cut off those apps temporarily whose developers didn’t respond to its request for information.
However, the social network goes on to clarify that not all of the suspended apps pose a threat to people. Many of them were also in the testing phase.
myPersonality is one of the apps that the company kicked out. The app shared user data with “only limited protections in place” and its developers refused for an audit.
Facebook took things one step further and filed a lawsuit against the South Korean Analytics company, Rankwave, who refused to cooperate with its investigation. It also dragged LionMobi and JediMobi for creating apps to infect users’ phones with malware and generate money.
Twitter suspends thousands of accounts
Not just Facebook, Twitter also attempted to boost the integrity of its platform as part of a massive cleanup operation it has been doing since 2018. It created a comprehensive archive of state-backed information operations on its platform.
In a new transparency report, the microblogging site has banned thousands of accounts that were believed to have ties with the state-backed misinformation campaigns. It notes that many of these accounts are fake, trying to fool people by spamming and retweeting.
Twitter has suspended 4,248 accounts originating uniquely from UAE, 271 accounts from UAE and Egypt, 259 accounts operated by Spain’s Partido Popular, and 1,019 accounts originating from Equador.
Meanwhile, Facebook has also banned over 65 Facebook accounts and 35 Instagram accounts from Spain.
Additionally, Twitter has also published more data related to 4,301 of the 200,000 accounts related to China and Hong Kong. First disclosed in August, Twitter believes these accounts were being used to add fire to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.