Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has released a formal statement in response to reports that political data firm Cambridge Analytica misused customer data collected from Facebook. He also stated that the social media platform will be making changes in regards to their users’ data privacy.
Reports allege that Cambridge Analytica harvested information from the Facebook user database and may have kept it, even though they said they had deleted the information back in 2015.
It took Zuckerberg five days to respond to the scandal but when he finally did respond, he accepted responsibility for the “breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it.”
More than 50 million users are estimated to be affected by the data collection of Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge University researcher. Zuckerberg has stated that any users who may have been affected will be notified of the possible breach.
“I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community. While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn’t change what happened in the past.”
Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook will be auditing any apps that have access to large amounts of information. Facebook will ban apps that don’t agree to audit.
Facebook released new plans to introduce restrictions on user data. App developers will no longer be able to access data on users who haven’t used the app for more than 90 days. The company will release only the users’ names, profile photos, and email addresses to app developers when they sign up. In order to be able to access posts or other data, developers will have to get approval from users and sign a contract. Another additional measure to increase data privacy includes a tool that will allow users to see which apps can access their data more visible.
The scandal has caused Facebook’s market value to drop nearly $50 billion and members of Congress are calling for Zuckerberg to come to Washington to testify.
Photo credit: Anthony Quintano