On 5th November 2019, Facebook acknowledged a different privacy breach on its platform. It is said that this mishap has been done by some of the app developers and they wrongly accessed the names and profile photos of the users of certain groups.
The giant platform announced about this incident through a blog post. The post read- “Roughly 100 partners may have accessed this information – including 11 that did so within the last 60 days”.
Facebook refused to reveal the specifics which included about the culprits who have seen the data and about the users who have been affected.
After this revelation, one more criticism has been added to the tech giant. Before almost 3 months, federal regulators asked Facebook to pay $5 billion (around Rs. 35,500 crores) fine and not only this, the social-networking giant was also alleged for mishandling the user’s personal data. Facebook also took steps against an allegation but the approval is still pending in federal court.
Other cases have come to light after the Federal Trade Commission negotiated this deal with Facebook. In September, Facebook announced that it had stopped “tens of thousands” of applications that may have misused user data, including some that may have been heavily monitored, court documents revealed at the time.
Director of platform partnerships at Facebook, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis wrote: “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 refused to comment.
The problem seems to come from the functionality of Facebook group services. Before April 2018, group administrators could allow applications that had access to information about users in this group. After April 2018, Facebook announced that it had imposed restrictions on developers, who should obtain permission from group members before collecting information such as their name and profile photo.
On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it had discovered that “found that some apps retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API, for longer than we intended.”