Facebook bans personality quiz apps after Cambridge Analytica scandal
Published Thursday, April 25, 2019 7:08PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 25, 2019 7:24PM EDT
Facebook is taking steps to ban personality quiz apps from its platform, more than a year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
On Thursday, the social networking giant updated its platform policies to say that apps with “minimal utility,” such as personality quizzes, will no longer be allowed. The update also states that apps can no longer ask for user data that doesn’t “enrich the in-app or user experience.”
The announcement comes the same day Canada’s federal privacy watchdog announced plans to take Facebook to court following an investigation into the platform’s privacy practices following the Cambridge Analytica scandal last spring.
The investigation was prompted by reports that a third-party app called “This is Your Digital Life” (TYDL), which encouraged users to complete a personality quiz, collected personal information from users and their network of Facebook friends.
The data was later used by Cambridge Analytica, which has been accused of being involved with U.S. political campaigns.
More than 620,000 Canadians had their data improperly shared in the scandal, which affected 87 million users worldwide.
A Facebook spokesperson told CTVNews.ca the updates to the social network’s platform policies are not related to the federal privacy commissioner’s investigation.
The ban on personality quizzes is part of a larger effort to limit what user information developers have access to in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
In March 2018, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the platform would automatically remove developers' access to user data if the app hadn’t been used in the previous three months. The social network also reduced the data required to sign in to a third-party app to a user name, profile picture and email address.