Facebook rolls out API restrictions, discloses blocking bug

The social networking giant is requiring advanced developer permissions on some APIs and shutting others down entirely.

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As part of its continuing its efforts to improve user privacy and security following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook on Monday rolled out additional API changes that put more restrictions on developer access to user data.

In addition to implementing stricter standards within its app review process, the social networking giant is requiring advanced developer permissions on some APIs and shutting others down entirely.

Facebook is deprecating the Graph API Explorer App as of today, and the Profile Expressions Kit will deprecate on October 1. The latter is due to low adoption, Facebook said.

Meanwhile, the Media Solutions family of APIs, used by media companies for things like polling and voting around TV broadcasts, will limit developer data access to a person's public page content and posts. Many of the media APIs will be shuttered completely on August 1, including the Topic Search, Topic Insights and Topic Feed and Public Figure APIs.

Elsewhere, the Pages API will soon require feature permissions to Page Public Content Access, which can only be obtained through the app review process. The Marketing API will require developers go through an app review process before use. The Live Video and Lead Ads Retrieval APIs will have new app review permissions as well.

In a separate blog post, Facebook disclosed the existence of a bug in both Messenger and Facebook that cleared out some people's blocked users list.

"The bug was active between May 29 and June 5 -- and while someone who was unblocked could not see content shared with friends, they could have seen things posted to a wider audience. For example pictures shared with friends of friends," wrote Erin Egan, chief privacy officer for Facebook.

Facebook said the issue's been fixed and everyone's blocked lists restored.

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