Facebook cuts off user data access for thousands of apps

A Facebook business page with notifications
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Facebook has revealed it's going to cut off access to its user data API for developers that haven't submitted their third-party apps for review as part of its mission to clamp down on those abusing its data.

In May, the company said it would be insisting all businesses and app developers using its API to connect their apps to the social media service would need to have them re-approved to ensure they weren't misusing user data. This decision was made following the Cambridge Analytica scandal that saw thousands of users' data being misused by the data firm.

But, the company said it hasn't received submissions from hundreds upon thousands if developers connecting to it via the API and it would therefore cut off access to those that haven't been re-verified.

"We'd encourage apps that are still being used but have not been submitted for app review to do so now," the company said. "However, to ensure all apps currently in use go through our review process, we will be proactively queueing up apps for review."

The company had previously offered a deadline of 1 August for developers to submit their apps for approval, although there was a grace period if the app is in the queue to be reviewed or if Facebook has requested more information from the developer.

Any company or developer that doesn't respond to Facebook's requests for further information within a given time will also lose access to the API.

"Our goal with all these changes is to ensure that we better protect people's Facebook information while also enabling developers to build great social experiences like managing a group, planning a trip or getting concert tickets for your favorite band," said Ime Archibong, vice president of product partnerships at Facebook.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.