Facebook has discovered another 200 potentially suspect apps on its platform.
Facebook has discovered another 200 potentially suspect apps on its platform.

Facebook users hit by fresh data scandal

YOUR Facebook profile may have been raided by another 200 apps that misused or even sold your personal information, the social media giant revealed in the ongoing fallout from its largest data scandal to date.

Facebook discovered the potentially dodgy applications as part of an "investigation and audit" designed to unearth apps like the personality testing app that harvested information from users and sold it to political data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Data such as phone numbers, private messages, and religious views, taken from as many as 87 million Facebook users and more than 311,000 in Australia, was allegedly used to influence voters in the 2016 US election.

Facebook is suspending about 200 apps it believes may have misused data. Picture: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Facebook is suspending about 200 apps it believes may have misused data. Picture: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

But that app was clearly not alone in accessing users' private information, as Facebook product partnerships vice-president Ime Archibong said the company had already identified more suspect creations using its platform.

"We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible," he said in a statement.

"To date, thousands of apps have been investigated and around 200 have been suspended, pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data."

Facebook has so far refused to name the suspect apps.

Mr Archibong said if the apps were found to have failed to adhere to Facebook terms, the apps would be banned from the platform.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Congress over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Picture: AP
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Congress over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Picture: AP

The action will be too late for affected users and their friends, however, as information harvested from users could date back to before 2014.

Mr Archibong said Facebook would "show people if they or their friends installed an app that misused data before 2015" at this website, but affected users would not be able to claw that information back.

"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," Mr Archibong said.

The social media giant remains under investigation by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner following its data scandal in March this year, and faces new regulations, enforceable undertakings, and up to $2.1 million in court-ordered penalties if they are found to have breached the Privacy Act.


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