Facebook stopped its application review process last week to "implement new changes," the company quietly announced yesterday. Facebook's movement to temporarily avoid new applications and chatbots on its platform comes after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal that took place in the last two weeks. The current situation has involved the company in an existential crisis of unprecedented magnitude after up to 50 million Facebook users were compromised by a third-party application. Last week, Facebook said it would further limit developer access to user data.
Now, Facebook seems to be reevaluating the way it approves applications due to the ease with which the third-party survey application, called "thisisyourdigitallife", could extract data and sell it with little or no supervision of Facebook, and Cambridge Analytica retain data even after claiming the company that had eliminated it. "To maintain the trust people place on Facebook when they share information, we are making some updates on the way our platform works," writes Ime Archibong, vice president of Facebook associations. "We know these changes are not easy, but we believe these updates will help mitigate any abuse of trust with the broader developer ecosystem."
Archibong also describes the changes that Facebook will make in the coming weeks, including an "in-depth review of our platform" that involves a full audit of any application with suspicious activity, and a process to inform users if an application they have Access granted was eliminated due to misuse of data, among other protective measures.
A co-founder of a digital agency took Facebook to complain about the sudden pause, as Mashable discovered. "Imagine hundreds of hours of work, from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment capital, and dozens of clients disappear at any given moment at the whim of a few lines of code," wrote Troy Osinoff, while setting up his state . thinking about the meaning of life. "
The Verge has communicated with Facebook to know when the application review process will resume. We will update this story when we receive news.