In an update published today regarding its ongoing App Developer Investigation, Facebook has revealed that tens of thousands of apps associated with nearly 400 developers have been suspended for a variety of reasons. The company, however, says it is not necessarily an indication that these apps were posing a threat to people.
Facebook says some apps have been banned completely while some were still in their testing phase when it suspended them. In some cases, the developers did not respond to Facebook’s request for information so it had to suspend them as well.
Permanent ban on some apps has been imposed for reasons such as inappropriately sharing data obtained from Facebook, making data publicly available without protecting people’s identity, or something else that was in clear violation of Facebook’s policies.
One app we banned was called myPersonality, which shared information with researchers and companies with only limited protections in place, and then refused our request to participate in an audit.
We’ve also taken legal action when necessary. In May, we filed a lawsuit in California against Rankwave, a South Korean data analytics company that failed to cooperate with our investigation. We’ve also taken legal action against developers in other contexts.
Facebook notes that it has been in touch with regulators and policymakers on issues related to misuse of user data and will continue working with them as its investigation continues.