Mark Zuckerberg apologized on Wednesday for a data scandal that has engulfed the social media giant in recent days, saying he regretted how the company handled the scandal.
"This was a big breach of trust, and I'm really sorry that this happened," the Facebook CEO said during an interview with CNN on Wednesday. "We have a basic responsibility to protect people's data and if we can not do it, then we do not deserve to have the opportunity to serve people."
The interview came after Zuckerberg finally broke his silence on Wednesday over the misuse of data from more than 50 million Facebook accounts, a controversy that has consumed the social network over the past week. Facebook disclosed on Friday that the information of millions of accounts in the social network was used without the permission of Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultant hired by the Trump presidential campaign.
But as the criticism of the situation of Facebook, Zuckerberg and Facebook COO increased Sheryl Sandberg remained silent. The lack of response from the Facebook leadership only intensified the backlash, which has led to a campaign #DeleteFacebook .
Facebook has been criticized by lawmakers who ask Zuckerberg to respond for Facebook's actions. Prominent senators, including Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner, have asked the chief executive to testify before Congress.
"The steps that Facebook has established to protect its users are a start, but Zuckerberg has yet to come to testify," he wrote on Wednesday Klobuchar . He also urged the company to support a new regulation around online advertising disclosures, something Zuckerberg did not object to.
"I'm not sure we're not regulated," Zuckerberg said during the CNN interview. "There are things like the regulation of advertising transparency that I would like to see."
During the CNN interview, Zuckerberg repeated some of the steps that Facebook is taking to make sure that the data mining of Cambridge Analytica does not happen again. For starters, Zuckerberg said Facebook will "investigate" all applications that have access to large amounts of data and further restrict access to developer data.
"One of the most important things that I think we have to do here is make sure we inform all the data affected by one of these dishonest applications," Zuckerberg said, adding that Facebook is going to build a tool that will allow Users determine if their data was affected.
It also promised more transparency if applications deviate from the company's terms in the future.
"Crazing when we identify applications that similarly do incomplete things, let's make sure we also tell people," he said. "Looking back on this, I'm sorry we did not do that at the time and I think we were wrong."
According to Facebook, the data was originally compiled by a Cambridge professor named Aleksandr Kogan for an application personality test. He collected the data legitimately, but then violated Facebook's terms by sharing the information with Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook discovered the infringement in 2015 but did not inform the public. Instead, the company demanded that all parties involved destroy the information. But now there are reports that all the data was not deleted.
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