Facebook's new App permission policy following Cambridge Analytica scandal



Facebook's CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg took to his official page to clear the air about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, including the steps they've already taken and what's next in line to address the privacy issue.

The privacy furore was against how data obtained by Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan and given to the affiliated behavior research firm Strategic Communication Laboratories, played major role in the 2016 US election manipulations, and some other countries in Afica, which is certainly a violation of Facebook’s terms of service.

According to reports, Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app which was installed by around 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friends' data.

As a result, Kogan was able to access tens of millions of Facebook users data and their friends' data as well. The Guardian revealed the extent to which the London-based data mining and analytics firm Cambridge Analytica misused the data from as many as 50 million Facebook users.

Facebook has outlined some important steps it hopes to take to prevent such mishap from reoccurring in the future.

First, it will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before the changes on the platform that dramatically reduce data access in 2014. And it will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity, with a ban penalty for any developer on the platform that does not agree to the audit.

Also, if any developer misuse personally identifiable information, Facebook will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps, including people whose data Kogan misused as well.

Secondly, Facebook going forward will restrict developers' data access to further prevent such kind of abuse. For instance, it will remove developers' access to users data if they haven't used their app in 3 months.

The company will require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data.

Finally, Facebook will show every user a tool at the top of their News Feed with the apps they've used and an easy way to revoke those apps' permissions to their data. Albeit, it already have a tool to do this in the privacy settings, but now this tool will be placed at the top of users' News Feed to make sure everyone sees it.
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