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(SKY NEWS) – Facebook has warned four million people that their data may have been misused by a quiz app it has decided to ban.
MyPersonality, which was mainly active prior to 2012, has been outlawed for refusing an inspection, Facebook said in a blog post.
It said myPersonality shared user information with researchers and companies with “only limited protections in place.”
“As a result we will notify the roughly four million people who chose to share their Facebook information with myPersonality that it may have been misused,” Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships Ime Archibong said.
The app was created by researcher David Stillwell and allowed users to take a personality questionnaire and get feedback on the results.
In a statement to Fortune magazine, Mr Stillwell disputed Facebook’s claims, saying “all necessary consents were explicitly and repeatedly provided by all Facebook users when using the myPersonality app”.
He added: “When the app was suspended three months ago I asked Facebook to explain which of their terms was broken but so far they have been unable to cite any instances.”
Facebook also revealed that it has so far suspended more than 400 apps over data sharing concerns since launching an investigation in March.
The social media giant has been under intense scrutiny since revelations that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica had improperly used people’s personal information in the run-up to the US presidential election and Brexit vote.
“Since launching our investigation in March, we have investigated thousands of apps,” Mr Archibong said.
“And we have suspended more than 400 due to concerns around the developers who built them or how the information people chose to share with the app may have been used – which we are now investigating in much greater depth.
“It’s also why we’ve changed many of our policies – such as our expansion of App Review and our new policy that no information will be shared with apps if you haven’t used them in 90 days.”
On Wednesday, Facebook and Twitter identified and banned more than 900 accounts, linked to Iran and to Russia, for misleading political behaviour.
In a statement announcing its bans, Facebook said: “Some of this activity originated in Iran, and some originated in Russia.
“These were distinct campaigns and we have not identified any link or coordination between them.
“However, they used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s network has stepped up its policing efforts since it admitted Russian agents had been able to run politically influential campaigns before the 2016 US presidential election.