In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is clamping down on data analysis companies that use similar, shady methods for collecting user data. The latest of these is a firm called CubeYou, which gathered information through the type of 'fun' quizzes one often sees on the social network.
CubeYou stated that its quizzes were for “non-profit academic research,” but it shared the data it gathered with advertisers. A CNBC investigation found CubeYou’s 'personality tests' collect names, phone numbers, employment, age, location, IPs, and relationship statuses, which are then matched to other sources to create profiles for advertisers.
Following CNBC’s report, Facebook has suspended CubeYou from the platform as it investigates whether the firm broke its T&Cs. "These are serious claims and we have suspended CubeYou from Facebook while we investigate them. If they refuse or fail our audit, their apps will be banned from Facebook," said Ime Archibong, Facebook vice president of product partnerships, in a statement to CNBC.
CubeYou is the second data analysis firm to be hit with a suspension following the Cambridge Analytica debacle. Canadian advertising company AggregateIQ has also been suspended while Facebook investigates any potential policy violations on its part.
One of CubeYou's most popular apps is a Facebook quiz created in conjunction with the University of Cambridge called "You Are What You Like," also known as "Apply Magic Sauce," which can supposedly “predict a user's personality based on the pages s/he liked on Facebook."
CubeYou CEO Federico Treu told Engadget that, unlike with the Cambridge Analytica incident, his company did not have access to participants’ friend data, and that the website for “You Are What You Like” discloses that information may be passed along to third parties.
With Mark Zuckerberg set to testify before Congress later this week, Facebook wants to show it is doing something about the social network’s privacy problem. "As we find more Cambridge Analyticas, we're going to find a comprehensive way to put them out and make sure people see them," Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Buzzfeed.