Remove Apps Linked to Your Facebook Account That You’re Not Using

Ruben Fields
July 4, 2020

Cambridge Analytica's app on Facebook was reported to have harvested data not only from people who used it, but also from friends who had not given consent. People can use their Facebook account to log into various apps, which provides developers information such as a user's birthday, email, friends list and hometown.

The social media company says that it has fixed the issue the day after it was discovered.

"They also strengthen data security requirements and clarify when developers must delete data", said Facebook.

In a post on Facebook, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, VP of Platform Partnerships at Facebook, wrote that "in some instances apps continued to receive the data that people had previously authorised, even if it appeared they hadn't used the app in the last 90 days".

Social media giant Facebook had admitted to once again improperly sharing user data with third-party developers, after repeatedly promising users that it would not do so.

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Almost 5,000 developers continued to receive personal information from Facebook users for their apps in recent months, despite those not being in use for over 90 days and the social network has purges those apps. The app could then collect more data without getting authorization from the user, simply because it was used before.

Facebook's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg faced questioning before the US Congress on how his company dealt with users' personal information, and Facebook brought in its new policy on 90-day lock-outs for apps later that year. It's unclear among the 5,000 apps how many access which specific user details.

Facebook gave an example as to how the error occurred.

But Facebook now says the limit did not work properly. "Later, in 2018, we announced that we would automatically expire an app's ability to receive any updates to this information if our systems didn't recognize a person as having used the app within the last 90 days".

Exceeding that time frame goes against Facebook's policy, which promises third-party apps would no longer be able to receive personal information about a user if they had not accessed the app within the last 90 days. Facebook cited language and gender as other examples. But the company didn't mention the period of time the issue was around before it was fixed.

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