Facebook suspends 200 apps over data misuse

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Facebook came under fire following an incident involving its user data exploited by Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based analytics company that was contracted in US President Donald Trump's election campaign.

The federal investigation in the United States appears to focus on the company's financial dealings and how it acquired and used personal data pulled from Facebook and other sources, according to the USA official.

The data set was collected via the personality quiz app "myPersonality" by academics at the University of Cambridge. A first of its kind in the market, the program provides financial payouts to anyone who reports genuine cases of data collection that go against Facebook's data policies.

CEO Alexander Nix was also suspended in March after he was shown on hidden camera footage saying that the firm blackmails political clients' rivals.

Company whistleblower Christopher Wylie confirmed to the Times that he had been questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department, adding, "We plan to meet again to provide substantive answers to the investigators". Users can also know if Cambridge Analytica had access to their data.

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On political advertising, dark ads and Cambridge Analytica, Facebook broadly failed to give the level of detail the committee clearly craved - repeatedly pointing instead to its new "view ads" tool and referring to previous evidence.

The committee had put additional questions to Facebook after it said that the firm's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer had not addressed all its concerns during a parliamentary hearing last month. 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.

In the end, the only tried and tested solution to social network privacy problems is to limit one's presence altogether.

"We suspended the myPersonality app nearly a month ago because we believe that it may have violated Facebook's policies", Mr Archibong said on Monday in response to an AFP inquiry.

Facebook has apparently shut-out the app as part of its sweeping audit of shady software on its site, which has impacted around 200 apps in total thus far.

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