Home >Technology >News >Facebook glitch gave 5,000 apps access to users’ account information
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Facebook glitch gave 5,000 apps access to users’ account information

  • Facebook’s privacy policy automatically restricts the app developers to access the user information after 90 days of inactivity
  • Facebook has assured users that the issue has been fixed and they haven’t found evidence of any unauthorised information being shared with the apps

Facebook continued to provide access to the user’s account information to about 5,000 apps, violating its own privacy policy, even after the users stopped using them. Facebook’s privacy policy automatically restricts the app developers to access the user information after 90 days of inactivity.

The social media giant has assured users that the issue has been fixed and it hasn’t found evidence of any information being shared with the apps that they were not authorised to by users.

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal Facebook had announced a bunch of privacy-centric options to give more control to users over their account information.

One of options was to automatically deny the app access to updates or user information if the user hasn't been active on the app within the last 90 days.

To ensure app developers clearly understand Facebook policy on data sharing and usage, Facebook had introduced new Platform Terms and Developer Policies.

These new terms and policies limit the information developers can share with third parties without explicit consent from users, in addition to making it explicitly clear when developers must delete the data they have access to.

The Cambridge Analytica sparked a global outrage in 2018 and exposed the lackluster attitude of many social media platforms with regard to user privacy. It forced all leading social media networks including Facebook to strengthen their privacy posture and offer more control to users over their data by simplifying privacy settings, adding new options, in addition to reworking the privacy policies and terms and conditions so every user could understand what information they are handing over to apps.

Signing up in a third party app using Facebook or Google is a common authentication practice and makes login process easier for users in comparison to sign-in with emails. In 2019, Apple also introduced sign in with Apple authentication for iOS, macOS, iPadOS and watchOS users.

During sign up the apps requests certain information from Facebook or the ther social logins to create a user profile. It can include users’ name, age, profile picture, email address and friend list. Facebook now restrict apps from accessing information that seem irrelevant.

Sharing email is also optional now.

Facebook also gives the option where users can manually remove an app from accessing new information.

Apple's sign in with Apple authentication gives users the option to not share their email address with third party apps and generates a random email ID for them.

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