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Facebook cracks down on "platform abuse" following Cambridge Analytica debacle

Social media giant announces five key implementations

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has announced five key changes to prevent further abuse by app developers.

The new measures for "reviewing developers' actions for evidence of misuse, implementing additional measures to protect data, and giving people more control of their information," will be implemented over the coming days.

First and foremost is to conduct an in-depth review of the platform which will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before 2014, and conduct a full audit of any app with "suspicious activity". While games are unlikely to fall within this, a significant number of mobile and browser games use Facebook to connect players with their friends, making it important for developers to keep up to date with this changes.

Facebook will now also inform users if an app is removed for data misuse. Additionally, any developers that misuse personally identifiable information will be banned from the platform.

Users will now be encouraged to manage the apps they use more carefully and Facebook will be making it easier to manage app permissions.

Furthermore, business-to-business apps will require heighted terms of use. All developers that build apps for other businesses will need to comply with "rigorous policies and terms" that will be shared in the coming weeks.

Finally, Facebook's bug bounty program will be expanded to reward users who find and report vulnerabilities.

Last week, in an effort to mitigate controversy, Facebook played the victim and blamed rogue third parties for "platform abuse" in harvesting user data.

In a blog post, the company said: "What happened with Cambridge Analytica was a breach of Facebook's trust. More importantly, it was a breach of the trust people place in Facebook to protect their data when they share it."

The sudden flurry of activity has been spurred on by the revelations that the data of 50 million American Facebook users was misappropriated for use in the 2016 presidential election.

The information was gathered through a personality app on the social media platform, developed by academic researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who claims Cambridge Analytica assured him it was legal.

These changes follow on from last week's implementations which saw a pause on app review, and the additional restrictions on access to users friends.

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Ivy Taylor avatar

Ivy Taylor


Ivy joined in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.