61 apps get extensions to collect user data says Facebook

News by Bradley Barth

After Facebook 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.

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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 US House of Representatives on 29 June as a follow-up to an 11 April, 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 scrutinised 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.

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