Facebook Banned the myPersonality App, Will Notify Users of Potential Data Misuse

The application allowed people to take personality quizzes

Facebook will notify 4 million users that their Facebook information "may have been misused." Getty Images

Facebook announced that it has banned the myPersonality application as part of its ongoing app investigation triggered by the Cambridge Analytica scandal that broke out in March 2018.

Following the revelation that millions of Facebook users had their information accessed by Cambridge Analytica without their permission, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social network would investigate all applications “that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity.”

The myPersonality application was launched in 2007. It allowed users to take personality quizzes, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. In a Facebook Newsroom post, Ime Archibong, vice president of product partnerships at Facebook, said the app was “mainly active prior to 2012.”

The app was banned “for failing to agree to our request to audit and because it’s clear that they shared information with researchers as well as companies with only limited protections in place,” Archibong said.

Archibong said Facebook will notify “the roughly 4 million people” who shared their Facebook information with the app that their information “may have been misused.”

Archibong continued, “Given we currently have no evidence that myPersonality accessed any friends’ information, we will not be notifying these people’s Facebook friends. Should that change, we will notify them.”

Since Facebook’s app investigation began in March 2018, Archibong said the social network has suspended more than 400 apps, and that it is now investigating these apps “in much greater depth.”

In a statement to Engadget, Dr. David Stillwell, the creator of the myPersonality app, said that user information wasn’t misused. Stillwell also told Engadget he never refused a Facebook audit of the application.