Facebook is set to inform as many as 4 million users that their data may have been compromised by an app.

The app in question is myPersonality and if the name rings a bell that’s because the app was suspended from Facebook back in May.

The app was suspended by Facebook following the discovery that user data it had collected wasn’t secured adequately. So poor was the security that there was allegedly a username and password available online that granted access to the user data collected by myPersonality. All you needed to find it were some keywords and Google.

That suspension has now been upgraded to a ban.

“Today we banned myPersonality — an app that was mainly active prior to 2012 — from Facebook for failing to agree to our request to audit and because it’s clear that they shared information with researchers as well as companies with only limited protections in place,” Facebook vice president of product partnerships Ime Archibong wrote in a blog post.

Facebook says that roughly 4 million users shared their data with myPersonality. The social network will now start informing those users that their data may have been compromised.

“Given we currently have no evidence that myPersonality accessed any friends’ information, we will not be notifying these people’s Facebook friends. Should that change, we will notify them,” added Archibong.

Facebook goes on to say that since the Cambridge Analytica revelations earlier this year it has suspended 400 apps due to “concerns around the developers who built them”.

“We will continue to investigate apps and make the changes needed to our platform to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect people’s information,” concluded Archibong.

Those changes are costing Facebook a lot. Following its earnings call last month Facebook’s market cap sank by $120 billion as share prices fell by 20 percent.

It’s good to see Facebook is still actively investigating problematic apps but we have to wonder whether policing developers after they’ve been allowed to collect data with impunity for years, is just too little too late.

[Image – CC BY 2.0 ShopCatalog]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.