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After Cambridge Analytica, Facebook Bans myPersonality

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Published on : Aug 23, 2018

In the face of increasing scrutiny on how it handles users’ data, Facebook has suspended almost 400 apps so far. While such suspensions are not declared or reported publically with apps suspended or reinstated sans notifications, Facebook does inform when an app is banned. Most recently, it declared banning of the app myPersonality for controlling data in an improper manner. It is only the second app to be banned after Facebook embarked on an ambitious audit in the month of March. It had first banned Cambridge Analytica.

However, the banning of myPersonality came as a surprise for all since it has been inactive from 2012. The app myPersonality was built by a team of scientists from the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre. Its main intent was to gather data about users of Facebook from personality quizzes. The app was functioning between 2007 and 2012. And during the period, it successfully managed to accumulate data directly from four million users.

The data was leveraged for Cambridge Psychometrics Centre’s own research. But other academics could request for the information by filling out an online application form.

In May, however, it came to light that most of the data of the project could be downloaded from GitHub by almost anyone. It was uploaded there by some scholars for students to gain access to those.

In 2009, the social networking giant Facebook officially announced the app as being compliant with their terms. It thus made the app a verified one. Hence, it came as a surprise that the app has been banned.