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Facebook suspends 200 apps over data misuse

Facebook suspends 200 apps over data misuse

Investigation in response to scandal around political consultancy Cambridge Analytica

Facebook has so far suspended around 200 applications in the first stage of its review into apps that had access to large quantities of user data, in a response to a scandal around political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The apps were suspended pending a thorough investigation into whether they misused any data, said Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships.

The social media giant said it has looked into thousands of apps till date as part of an investigation that CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on 21 March.

Zuckerberg had said the social network will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before the company curtailed data access in 2014.

"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 said.

"We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible."

Facebook was hit by the privacy scandal in mid-March after media reports that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data to build profiles on American voters and influence the 2016 presidential election.

The incident led to backlash from celebrities and resulted in the company losing billions in market value. Zuckerberg apologised for the mistakes his company made and testified before the U.S. lawmakers.

The company, however, regained much of its lost market value after it reported a surprisingly strong 63 per cent rise in profit and an increase in users when it announced quarterly results on 25 April.

Shares of the company were up 0.4 per cent at US$187.65 in premarket trading on Monday.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur)

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