Facebook's Zuckerberg on Cambridge Analytica: "We made mistakes"
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence following word that a firm linked to the 2016 Trump campaign was able to target 50 million Facebook users by gaining access to their profiles without permission. The company, Cambridge Analytica, reportedly received the data from a Russian-American Cambridge University professor (Aleksandr Kogan) who was able to obtain it by falsely promising that he would use the data for research only. The CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, was suspended by the firm after being captured by a hidden camera telling undercover reporters how he can damage the reputation of politicians using dirty tricks. He also claimed to have been responsible for Trump's upset victory in the U.S. presidential election of 2016.
Today, Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook made mistakes. He introduced a three point plan to make sure that Facebook will no longer play fast and loose with subscriber's personal data. Step one is the launch of an investigation that will take a hard look at all apps with access to user data before Facebook tightened up such access in 2014. Secondly, apps will now be restricted to obtaining a person's name, email address, and profile picture only. Lastly, Facebook will push out a tool that will allow users to see which apps can access their data. The subscriber will be able to pull that access and prevent any app that he/she selects, from retrieving personal information.
Facebook is now being investigated by the FTC for a possible violation of a 2011 Consent Decree signed by the social networking site. The Decree stated that Facebook users had to give permission before having their personal data used in any way. Facebook reportedly had discovered that the data was being used by Cambridge Analytica back in 2015 and did not notify subscribers.