Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged on Wednesday that his company failed to protect user data in the widening Cambridge Analytica controversy, but said newly unveiled policies would prevent developers from misappropriating such information in the future.
Zuckerberg said in a statement posted on his Facebook page that the company had already taken the “most important steps” in 2014 to prevent “bad actors” from accessing users’ information in this way. He also outlined three additional steps Facebook would take:
– The company will investigate all apps that had access to “large amounts of information” prior to Facebook’s platform change in 2014.
– Facebook said it will restrict developers’ data access “even further,” such as removing access to user data if that user hasn’t used the outside app in three months.
– Facebook will put a tool at the top of the News Feed showing apps that accounts have used and “an easy way” to revoke those apps’ permissions to data.
Zuckerberg had been roundly criticized for his silence in the days since the Cambridge Analytica data misappropriation scandal erupted.
Over the weekend, the New York Times and British newspaper the Observer reported that the data analytics firm, which had ties to President Trump’s campaign, collected data from approximately 50 million Facebook accounts without users’ knowledge in an attempt to sway voters’ opinions.
The blowback has been swift. Facebook’s stock has dropped 7.1 percent since Friday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission reportedly launched a probe and lawmakers have demanded Zuckerberg testify before Congress.