'I am responsible for what happens on Facebook,' says Mark Zuckerburg on data fiasco

10:00 AM | 22 Mar, 2018
'I am responsible for what happens on Facebook,' says Mark Zuckerburg on data fiasco
Mark Zuckerburg breaking his silence on the data debacle extended apologies to Facebook users for not protecting their privacy, besides laying out measures to be taken to better protect user data.

"I'm really sorry that this happened," the  Facebook (FB) CEO told CNN in an exclusive interview on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which erupted recently. His comments came after a #DeleteFacebook campaign gained momentum.

News surfaced this weekend that data from a staggering 50 million Americans was used by Cambridge Analytica for devising digital media strategy for Donald Trump before the 2016 presidential elections.

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The startling revelations put Zuckerburg, one of the top richest persons in the world, and Facebook under the radar for their mishandling of user data and privacy.

Zuckerberg also took to Facebook sharing his views regarding the incident on his personal page and wrote that the company had also made mistakes.

He wrote, "...we also made mistakes, there's more to do, and we need to step up and do it".

He said, "We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you. I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again".

The CEO of social networking site said the company has taken most important actions to prevent this from happening again today years ago.

Detailing the incident, Zuckerburg said, "In 2013, a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app. It was installed by around 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friends' data. Given the way our platform worked at the time this meant Kogan was able to access tens of millions of their friends' data".

He added, "In 2014, to prevent abusive apps, we announced that we were changing the entire platform to dramatically limit the data apps could access. Most importantly, apps like Kogan's could no longer ask for data about a person's friends unless their friends had also authorized the app".

Later, the developers, said Zuckerburg, were required to get approval from company before they could request any sensitive data from people. He said that such steps would prevent any app like Kogan's from being able to access so much data today.

He said that Kogan's app was banned from Facebook after learning about the data debacle and demanded Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data. Zuckerburg said, "They provided these certifications".

Last week, it again emerged on media that  Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as they had certified.

"We immediately banned them from using any of our services. Cambridge Analytica claims they have already deleted the data and has agreed to a forensic audit by a firm we hired to confirm this. We're also working with regulators as they investigate what happened," he said.

"This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it. We need to fix that".

Taking responsibility of the security breach, the company's CEO said: "I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform. I'm serious about doing what it takes to protect our community".

"We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward," he said.