Facebook has once again shared users data with developers the company admits. This has meant that a few thousand developers could access inactive users data who have not logged in for 90 days. This comes as Facebook faces a widespread advertiser boycott in July. The company has also been under fire from Joe Biden to promote more real news.
Engadget reports that Facebook's guidelines clearly express that this should never happen. The guidelines state that inactive users' data should remain private.
An inactive user is defined as someone who has not logged in for 90 days. This was introduced after the high profile Cambridge Analytica scandal back in 2018.
User data shared again by Facebook
Facebook has not provided any detail about how long this issue has been going on for. It also did not share any details on how many users may have been impacted. Estimates suggest that if affected "approximately 5,000 developers" for "the last several months."
Facebook claims that it fixed the issue the day after the company notices it. However, the company will continue to investigate further to get to the bottom of the issue.
The company claims that it has improved its policy and strategy in this area over the last few years. However, another example of data sharing suggests otherwise.
Facebook plans for improvement
In 2018, Facebook made sure inactive accounts no longer received updates. However, the company found that in some instances this did not occur.
For example, in some fitness apps if you invited friends for a workout the software may not have recognized that some people had been inactive for months.
The company was quick the point out that the information shared was not inconsistent with the original permissions users signed up to. However, Facebook does have some plans to try and improve the system. This is largely based around simplifying terms to make it easier to understand and run.
Facebook is now introducing new Platform Terms and Developer Policies. This is to ensure businesses and developer more clearly understand their responsibilities. In theory, these new policies will limit the data that can be shared with third parties.
The plan is also to strengthen data security requirements. This will make it clearer as to when developers need to delete users' data.
Facebook is clearly working to improve the data security of users. However, as more issues like this come to light the less users will trust the company. Facebook needs to work hard in the coming months to rebuild the trust from its users on a number of issues, not least data security.