News & Blog

News Bytes – September

400 Suspensions and a Ban for Facebook Apps
Facebook has announced that, as a result of its investigations into thousands of apps post-Cambridge Analytica, it has suspended 400 and banned one outright.

myPersonality has been banned after refusing to be audited; Facebook says it has evidence that the company was sharing information with researchers and other businesses without proper safeguards. Facebook will notify 4 million users of app, which was predominantly popular before 2012, that their access has been removed.

Additionally, 400 apps have been suspended as Facebook has doubts about their creators or the way information shared with the apps has been shared with third parties.

At the same time, Facebook has had to remove one of its own apps from the Apple Store, the Onavo security app, after Apple decreed that it did not satisfy privacy requirements.

These moves represent Facebook’s latest attempt to get its house in order since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which as many as 87 million people had their data illegally shared by the digital consultancy company.

Google Gathers Extra Data
A new study by Vanderbilt professor Douglas C. Schmidt on behalf of Digital Content, a digital publishing trade group, has found that Google is collecting much more data about its users than many realize.

Even when people aren’t using the Android operating system or the Chrome browser, it’s still sending Google information; the study found that a phone that isn’t being used but had Chrome running in the background sent Google notifications of its location 340 times in 24 hours.

Google have rejected the report and suggested that Prof Schmidt is not an unbiased reporter as he has appeared as a witness in the $9 billion copyright case between Google and Oracle concerning Google’s deployment of Java in the Android OS. In the latest hearing at the US federal appeals court in March, Oracle won a decision stating that Google had not remained within the boundaries of fair usage.

Prof Schmidt has thus far kept silent on the matter; his study also claims that “anonymous” data collected by Google can be linked to accounts via advertising tools.

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