Limited app’s access to account data
Ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal has made to the headlines, Facebook is facing a tough time! And so is its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg! Being severely criticized for not offering proper privacy to his social media platform users,
he finally speaks up! Also being accused of being silent after the data scandal, yesterday, he finally announced the changed through his post.
His post suggests that at the first place, developers will not receive as much information as it did in the past. Second, when the users won’t use their apps, they’ll no more have any access to the users’ data. Third, from now onwards, one would need Facebook’s approval to get any access to detailed information about the users.
So, if you are a developer and someone signs in through Facebook using your app, you won’t get anything more than the user’s name, profile picture, and the email address of the user. If you would need further information like user’s Facebook posts, or other details, you’ll have to get permission from a site. Though it is not yet clear how strong or tough will the process be, it will definitely be a step towards the security of personal information. Hopefully, Cambridge Analytica like scandal will not occur again. At least, there will be some security check to stop such occurrences.
App Usage New Policies
There is another important point in Zuckerberg’s post to note. If an app remains unused for three months, it will now be cut off from all possible access to an account data. Say, some user used your application and you got access to this user’s data. But what if the user uses your app only once and completely forgets it? Simple, you won’t have any more access to the user’s data after three months.
This will prove a highly useful step. It is a general trend that people keep trying some or other app for fun, quizzes, games and so on and forget them as soon as they find a more interesting alternative. Some even try out apps out of curiosity and never use them again in future. But as the apps remain connected to their Facebook accounts, they continue to have access to the account data. This is something that users do not even realize. Thus, cutting down any access to information once not in use anymore for more than 3 months will prove a saviour in many ways.
Investigation of Apps
The post also says that soon the users will have a special tool on the top of their News Feed to help them disable apps. Zuckerberg writes that FB will now “investigate all apps that had access to large amounts,” in the past to make out if the data was mishandled or remained safe. The company ensures that it will keep the users aware of what exactly happened with their data.
The post also says that it will investigate all the apps and their producer companies and “conduct a full audit” to look for all possible “suspicious activities.”
Notably, the investigation will also be for the developers who used the platform during the year 2014 or even before it. Interestingly, 2014 was the year when Facebook started making changes for limiting data access. However, the company argues that until that time it had not limited the access to the data from the user’s friends. And this is how the Analytica scandal came into being!
As the post suggests, more changes and security options will be announced in the “coming weeks”, one can think of better security in the future.