Zuckerberg has finally addressed the scandal, seeing millions have their data exploited by Cambridge Analytica
Words by Victoria Fell
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement on his (where else?) Facebook page today addressing the data scandal that has caused the hashtag ‘delete Facebook’ to trend online. Even the founder of Whatsapp got involved, encouraging his Twitter followers to delete Facebook and leading the company to lose nearly $35 billion from its value.
‘We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,’ Zuckerberg announced in a statement. ‘I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.’
Zuckerberg then goes on to explain the relationship between Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan, Cambridge Analytica, and Facebook.
‘In 2015, we learned from journalists at The Guardian that Kogan had shared data from his app with Cambridge Analytica. It is against our policies for developers to share data without people’s consent, so we immediately banned Kogan’s app from our platform, and demanded that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data. They provided these certifications.’
He continued: ‘Last week, we learned from The Guardian, The New York Times and Channel 4 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. This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.’
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, also added to the statement from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a statement on her own Facebook page.
‘As [Mark] said, we know that this was a major violation of people’s trust, and I deeply regret that we didn’t do enough to deal with it,’ she explained. ‘We have a responsibility to protect your data – and if we can’t, then we don’t deserve to serve you.’