While the exact nature and scale of their offenses are not yet known, Facebook says it has suspended about 200 apps for misusing member data.
Motivated by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the crackdown is part of a larger effort by Facebook to investigate every app that had access to large amounts of user information prior to 2014. That year, the company made changes to it platform policies, which it believed made data abuses far less likely.
The resulting investigation is currently “in full swing,” in the words of Ime Archibong, a Vice President of Product Partnerships at Facebook.
The investigation has two phases. First, a “comprehensive” review is being conducted to identify every app that had access to large amounts of Facebook data.
Second, where Facebook has concerns, it is conducting interviews and making requests for information, which is says asks a series of detailed questions about the app and the data to which is has access.
If and when Facebook deems it necessary, it will also conduct audits that may include on-site inspections. To conduct its investigations. Archibong said the company has large teams of internal and external experts.
To date, Facebook says it has so investigated thousands of apps.
The roughly 200 suspended apps will now be subjected to a thorough investigation into whether they misused user data. If Facebook finds evidence that these or other apps did misuse data, it plans to ban them and promply notify users.
Facebook has estimated that the information of up to 87 million members -- most of whom live in the Unites States -- may have been “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica.