Facebook says 100 software developers may have improperly accessed user data

The company in September said it had suspended tens of thousands of apps as a result of an investigation into its software developer ecosystem following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Image: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg And News Corp CEO Robert Thomson Debut Facebook News
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about the new Facebook News feature at the Paley Center For Media on Oct. 25, 2019 in New York.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

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/ Source: CNBC.com
By Salvador Rodriguez, CNBC

Facebook on Tuesday disclosed that as many as 100 software developers may have improperly accessed user data, including the names and profile pictures of people in specific groups on the social network.

The company recently discovered that some apps retained access to this type of user data despite making changes to its service in April 2018 to prevent this, Facebook said in a blog post. The company said it has removed this access and reached out to 100 developer partners who may have accessed the information. Facebook said that at least 11 developer partners accessed this type of data in the last 60 days.

“Although we’ve seen no evidence of abuse, we will ask them to delete any member data they may have retained and we will conduct audits to confirm that it has been deleted,” the company said in the blog post.

The company did not say how many users were affected.

Facebook has been restricting software developer access to its user data following reports in March 2018 that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly accessed the data of 87 million Facebook users, potentially to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

The company in September said it had suspended tens of thousands of apps as a result of an investigation into its software developer ecosystem following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. And in July, Facebook agreed to pay a record $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission after the federal agency began probing the company as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.