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Data misuse: Facebook says 4 million people affected

Facebook is hard at work mopping up after the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal. Since admitting earlier this year that 87 million users’ data was compromised back in 2014, the company has shut down hundreds of Facebook-integrated apps for not treating user data responsibly. But there’s a lot of mess to clear up from Facebook’s extreme negligence over the years, and we keep hearing about newly-discovered (but truthfully, quite old) data breaches.

In the latest case, Facebook says that it has banned a quiz app called “myPersonality” for such behavior. myPersonality was reportedly responsible for harvesting profile data of around 4 million people. A drop in the ocean compared with Cambridge Analytica’s own quiz app, but still worrying. The app was mostly active prior to 2012, so if you joined the service since then you’re probably safe. Either way, Facebook has promised to inform affected users their data may have been misused.

This is a step in the right direction, and we applaud the transparency. It can’t change the past, but to earn our trust Facebook needs to take serious action to prevent this kind of thing happening again. The company says it has expanded its app review team and changed some policies for the better.

Even so, this is certainly not good publicity and just goes to show the extent to which third-party companies had free reign over user data. Keep an eye on your inbox in case you were affected this time.

Related reading: four iOS apps to help you ditch Facebook