This week Facebook admitted to wrongly sharing the personal data of thousands of app users with thousands of developers. The issue here isn’t as simple as Facebook selling your personal information to advertisers, or Facebook allowing political advertisers to publish inaccuracies and lies on their platforms. Instead, it’s more like a little mistake. A little mistake that lends more evidence to the idea that when a company is as big as Facebook, a little mistake can have big consequences.
Facebook revealed this week that they’d found an “issue” with their 3rd-party developer software that enabled Facebook sign-in. If you use an app and you opt to sign-in to that app with your Facebook account, this could have affected you, specifically.
Facebook’s reveal of this “issue” was wrapped in a blog post about how they’re attempting to improve data sharing limits. In this release, Facebook said that they’d changed the timeframe in which apps can access a user’s login information and Facebook information.
Per Facebook’s latest update, they suggest that a change happened in 2018 that’d limit an app’s ability to access updates to Facebook sign-in information to 90 days after the user last logged in to said app. If you logged in to an app with a Facebook account, then did not use that app for 90 days, that app was supposed to lose all access to any updates to your Facebook login information.
Now, to be fair, here, the apps would not have access to any information that the user did not authorize them to have in the first place. But because the information Facebook uses is personal, every inconsistency in their handling of said data must be scrutinized to the nth degree.
Per Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, VP of Platform Partnerships, “We fixed the issue the day after we found it.”
But before then, “for the last several months of data we have available, we currently estimate this issue enabled approximately 5,000 developers to continue receiving information — for example, language or gender — beyond 90 days of inactivity as recognized by our systems.”
If you’d like to delete Facebook, take a peek at our feature How to delete Facebook (and why you maybe can’t.)