JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT things couldn't get any worse for Facebook, it's been revealed that another rogue app exposed the "intimate" details of three million users.
New Scientist has the scoop and reports that personality quiz app 'myPersonality', developed by Cambridge University academics, distributed user responses to researchers at companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo using an unsecured website.
A password and username granting access to the data - which was controlled by David Stillwell and Michal Kosinski at the University Psychometrics Centre - had been sitting on GitHub, publicly available, for the past four years.
And although data was scrubbed of usernames before being given to the researchers, New Scientist reports that each user in the data set was given a unique ID, which tied together data such as users' age, gender, location, status updates, results on the personality quiz and more.
With that much information, de-anonymising the data can be done very easily, and the report claims that anyone who wanted access to the data set could have found the key to download it in less than a minute
The University of Cambridge says it was alerted to issues surrounding myPersonality by the Information Commissioner's Office and told New Scientist that the data-slurping app "did not go through our ethical approval process".
Facebook said that it suspended the myPersonality app on 7 April, and adding that it may permanently removed from the platform depending on the results of the social network's ongoing investigation.
"We suspended the myPersonality app almost a month ago because we believe that it may have violated Facebook's policies," said Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of Product Partnerships.
"We are currently investigating the app, and if myPersonality refuses to cooperate or fails our audit, we will ban it."
News of this breach came just hours after Facebook announced it has suspended around 200 apps as part of its investigation into apps that had access to large amounts of information on users following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
"We have large teams of internal and external experts working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible," Archibong said.
"To date, thousands of apps have been investigated and around 200 have been suspended - pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data." µ
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