Facebook bans quiz app over concerns of misused data

Facebook has permanently banned the personality quiz app ‘myPersonality’ as up to four million people might have had their personal data mishandled by the app.

In a blog on Facbeook, the social media giant’s Ime Archibong said the app was banned from the social media platform and was “mostly active before 2012”. So far, there is no indication that it had access to the data of its users’ Facebook friends.

This mishandling of data echoes the Cambridge Analytica scandal where around 87 Facebook users – and their friends – of an app called ‘thisisyourdigitallife’ had their personal data improperly obtained by a political research firm linked to Donald Trumps presidential campaign.

Following this, Facebook instituted an app auditing process for all the integrated apps to make sure that it didn’t mishandle or resell the personal data that it gathered, in violation of Facebook’s policies.

The ‘myPersonality’ app came to Facebook’s attention after “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,” Archibong said.

Facebook has been investigating ‘myPersonality’ since at least April, when it suspended the app from the site. It was reported in May that the app had some 6 million users, 40% of whom shared their personal data with the site, Business Insider reported.

Aleksandr Kogan, the academic who created “thisisyourdigitallife,” also contributed to ‘myPersonality,’ and in a statement to Business Insider, claims that Facebook knew all about ‘myPersonality,’ and in 2009 actually certified it as a “verified application.”

Facebook said that ‘myPersonality’’s creators, which include David Stillwell of University of Cambridge’s Psychometrics Centre, refused to cooperate with an audit of how data their app gathered was protected and shared.


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