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The move is part of an audit run by the company to examine how many third-party apps had extensive access to user information, and how many used that data inappropriately.

The update, issued today by Ime Archibong, veep of product partnerships, said that thousands of apps had been investigated so far, in a two-phase process.

Facebook is suspending 200 apps that may have misused people's data, it announced in a blog post Monday.

"The investigation process is in full swing", Archibong said. In a blog posting, Archibong says the suspensions do not mean the apps misused data, only that there are grounds for a further audit.

Facebook says it changed its policies restricting the ability of third-party apps to collect data on users' friends in 2014. "And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps", he had written in a post explaining the "Cambridge Analytica situation" and the steps that the company was taking to mitigate the situation.

Mired in the massive data breach controversy, Facebook has rolled out biggest-ever shuffle at the senior management level since its inception - across platforms, including WhatsApp and Messenger.

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Cambridge Analytica, which denied wrongdoing, has since gone bankrupt.

For any apps Facebook is concerned with, it then conducts interviews and asks for detailed information about the app and its data usage. First off, Facebook has to figure out which apps actually had access to large quantities of user data.

None of the suspended apps were identified.

In Canada, Facebook announced on April 6 that it was suspending Victoria-based tech firm, AggregateIQ, which was involved in the Brexit referendum campaign in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

The investigation is one of a series of responses from Facebook following the data scandal, with new tools having also been rolled out to users to provide clearer access app permissions and privacy settings.

Facebook has faced tough scrutiny since the scandal erupted, with Mark Zuckerberg summoned to the US Congress to face two days of questions.


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