Yet Another ‘Far Larger Than It Had Previously Acknowledged’ Facebook Fiasco

Kate Conger, Gabriel J.X. Dance, and Mike Isaac, reporting for The New York Times:

Facebook said on Friday that it had suspended tens of thousands of apps for improperly sucking up users’ personal information and other transgressions, a tacit admission that the scale of its data privacy issues was far larger than it had previously acknowledged.

The social network said in a blog post that an investigation it began in March 2018 — following revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a British consultancy, had retrieved and used people’s Facebook information without their permission — had resulted in the suspension of “tens of thousands” of apps that were associated with about 400 developers. That was far bigger than the last number that Facebook had disclosed of 400 app suspensions in August 2018.

400 apps, 10,000 apps, what’s the difference?

If these privacy violations weren’t so serious, and if Facebook weren’t so powerful and influential to the daily lives of billions, it would be comical the way they vastly underestimate any and all privacy or security problems, only to come back months later with a more accurate number. They do it every time, and the errors are always in the direction of underreporting severity.

Monday, 23 September 2019