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Facebook & 3rd-party apps: Do you know which apps you have?

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

As Facebook begins notifying users about whether their data may have been compromised, a local social media instructor said all Facebook users should check to see which third-party apps are accessing their data.

"I'm just hoping that I don't get an email about it, actually,” said a local university student who did not want to use his name for this report.

On Monday, Facebook began notifying users whose data was improperly shared with data mining firm Cambridge Analytica, a company linked to the Trump presidential campaign.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is apologetic, but some local Facebook users said more than apologies are needed to keep data safe.

"I think that they should definitely be more deliberate about protecting people's data. I think that it's very wrong to not be,” said Hannah Goldberg.

"Whether you get the message or not, you should be concerned about how Facebook uses your data,” said Professor Lisa Collins, who teaches social media in Loyola University’s School of Mass Communication.

She said to check up on third-party apps, you need to use a desktop or laptop computer.

"You should go to your apps settings, and there you can see what third-party apps you're using. It might be something, you might have taken a quiz years ago and you've forgotten, but that app may still be drawing data from your profile, and so it's really important to see what is being collected from your profile and how you can either contact the app-maker or disconnect from that app completely,” Collins said.

She added that not everyone will want to remove third-party apps discovered on their computers.

"Facebook Messenger is a third-party app technically, so you know, you could decide as a consumer, I want to keep some, Instagram and Snapchat, I want to drop these other ones,” Collins said.

The hashtag #deletefacebook cropped up following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

"I'm thinking about deleting Facebook. I don't think I need an account anymore,” said another Facebook user on a local college campus.

"I think people are starting to realize that Facebook is free for users, but they're collecting a lot of information about you, and they're selling that to advertisers,” said Collins.

And while it is unclear what will happen going forward, in March the Pew Research Center said 68% of U.S. adults reported being Facebook users.

"Facebook certainly has staying power. More than 2 billion users worldwide,” Collins said.

Facebook has suspended another app firm, CubeYou. And on Saturday, Facebook said it suspended AggregateIQ, another political consulting firm, amid media reports that it had ties to Cambridge Analytica.

"And I think they are doing a pretty good job now to be transparent about how they use your data, but it's up to the consumer ultimately. It's up to the user to figure out, am I comfortable with this level of data sharing?” said Collins.

All 2 billion Facebook users are to receive a notice titled, “Protecting Your Information,” with a link to let users see what apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.
 

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