World Bulletin / News Desk
The suspensions were part of the first phase of an ongoing investigation and the company suggested that there will likely be more.
The investigation sprung up following reports that political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica was able to inappropriately access the personal data of millions of Americans during the 2016 presidential election on behalf of the campaign for Donald Trump.
The scandal caused lawmakers in the United States to grill Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s policies and a “Delete Facebook” advocacy campaign briefly trended on social media.
On March 21, Zuckerberg announced that the company would examine how thousands of apps created by other companies used the data of Facebook users.
The company did not fully explain why each of the 200 apps were suspended, although Facebook said the apps’ alleged mishandling of user data will be fully investigated, including in-person visits. If Facebook determines that the apps did misuse user data, the apps will be banned from the service and impacted users would be notified.
“We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible,” Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships, said in the announcement.
Facebook is especially focused on apps operating in 2014 or earlier. At that time, Facebook allowed third-party apps to access data of the Facebook friends of people who used an app, even if the friends never used the app in question.
“There is a lot more work to be done to find all the apps that may have misused people’s Facebook data – and it will take time,” Archibong continued.
“We are investing heavily to make sure this investigation is as thorough and timely as possible. We will keep you updated on our progress.”