Technology 3 min read

100 Developers Retain Access to Restricted Data of Facebook Users

Facebook is reportedly reaching out to some app developers who may have accessed the restricted data of some Facebook group members.

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In a blog post published Tuesday, Facebook’s Director of Platform Partnership, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, revealed that several applications had retained their access to the restricted data of some Facebook group members.

Last year, the social networking giant began removing or restricting several of its developer APIs in an attempt to make all of its user data secured. Among these restricted APIs is the Groups API, which offers an interface between Facebook and group-integrating applications.

“Before April 2018, group admins could authorize an app for a group, which gave the app developer access to information in the group,” Papamiltiadis explained. “But as part of the changes to the Groups API after April 2018, if an admin authorized this access, that app would only get information, such as the group’s name, the number of users, and the content of posts.”

Now, all apps could only get additional group activity-related information about a Facebook user if the latter opt-in. However, an ongoing review of their process revealed that some apps had retained their access to group member information.

Access to Restricted Data of Facebook Users

According to Papamiltiadis, they discovered that group member information like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity from the Groups API has remained accessible to some apps. Facebook has removed their access as soon as they’re found.

However, the tech company is still reaching out to several partners that they believe may have accessed the said restricted data following the implementation of the changes to the Groups API. Papamiltiadis added:

“We know at least 11 partners accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days. 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 Facebook executive also noted that most of the apps they found are into social media management and video streaming. They help group admins manage their groups more efficiently and also help members share videos with their groups.

Papamiltiadis concluded:

“As we’ve said in the past, the new framework under our agreement with the FTC means more accountability and transparency into how we build and maintain products. As we continue to work through this process we expect to find more examples of where we can improve, either through our products or changing how data is accessed.”

Read More: What You Should Know Before Signing Up For Facebook News

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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