Facebook is on the hunt for other Cambridge Analytica-type bad actors: Developers who had access to Facebook user data and employed it in a way that violates the company’s guidelines.
On Monday, Facebook offered an update to that hunt: The company says it has reviewed “thousands of apps” with access to Facebook user data and suspended 200 of them “pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data.”
That doesn’t mean there are 200 more Cambridge Analytica-type scenarios out there. It just means that there are 200 other apps Facebook wants to take a closer look at. It’s possible they will all be cleared of any wrongdoing. It’s possible many of them will not.
It’s also possible that this number will grow. A company spokesperson told Recode that Facebook is still very early on in the audit process. That means Facebook plans to investigate thousands more apps on top of the thousands the company has already looked at. It’s highly likely that there will be more potential offenders that Facebook decides to suspend.
“Where we find evidence that these or other apps did misuse data, we will ban them and notify people via this website,” Facebook wrote in a blog post Monday, linking to the same site it used to alert people if their data was shared with Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook has been sharing user data with apps for years. It’s one of the core ways Facebook grew, especially in its early days. The problem with this audit is that no matter what Facebook finds, it’s going to be too late. Facebook can ban bad actors, but once the data leaves Facebook’s servers, there isn’t much the company can do to get it back.
Same thing goes for user trust. If Facebook finds a bunch of other Cambridge-Analytica type scenarios played out over the past few years, it’ll be tough to convince anybody that Facebook can take care of user privacy moving forward.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.