Application security, Compliance Management, Network Security, Privacy

Facebook says 61 apps got extensions for collecting user data following 2015 policy change

After Facebook officially changed its policies in May 2015 to restrict the information that app developers could collect on users and their friends, the social media company granted a special extension to 61 developers, allowing them to continue the practice for several additional months.

Facebook itself acknowledged this special exemption in a 747-page document that the company sent to the U.S. House of Representatives on June 29 as a follow-up to an Apr. 11, 2018 hearing on Facebook's use of consumer data, during which time CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified.

The Wall Street Journal has been credited with initially finding Facebook's revelation about the 61 app developers, which outlets are reporting as previously undisclosed information. In all but one case, Facebook notes that the app developers were given “a one-time extension of less than six months beyond May 2015” to comply with the new policy. One company, however, the accessibility app Serotek, was granted an eight-month extension.

The disclosure may seem relatively minor; however, Facebook has already come under criticism for a lack of 100 percent transparency surrounding its use of customer data, especially in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Last month, the company was scrutinized for sharing user data with at least 60 mobile device manufacturers, in an effort to make its services and experiences available to device owners via integrated APIs.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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