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Mark Zuckerberg Addresses the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Says Facebook 'Made Mistakes' in Protecting Data (buzzfeed.com) 127

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday commented on the massive, deepening data harvesting scandal his company has been embroiled in since last Friday. From a report: "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," he said. The scandal -- involving the illicit collection of data from 50 million Facebook users, and its later use by Trump campaign analytics vendor Cambridge Analytica -- has helped chop off nearly $50 billion in value from Facebook's market cap since last Friday, led to calls from US lawmakers for Zuckerberg testify before congress, and raised eyebrows at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is now probing the company. Speaking of things Facebook plans to do to ensure that this mess doesn't repeat itself, Zuckerberg added, "First, we will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps. That includes people whose data Kogan misused here as well.

"Second, we will restrict developers' data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse. For example, we will remove developers' access to your data if you haven't used their app in 3 months. We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in -- to only your name, profile photo, and email address. We'll require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data. And we'll have more changes to share in the next few days."

There is no explicit apology in Zuckerberg's comment today.
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Mark Zuckerberg Addresses the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Says Facebook 'Made Mistakes' in Protecting Data

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  • by OffTheLip ( 636691 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:01PM (#56299597)
    Facebook's business model is predicated on this data collection and selling to whomever is willing to pay.
  • by nnet ( 20306 )
    Of course they will. After all, their primary concern is the users, not the stockholders.
  • we don't deserve to serve you

    ... That's all I needed to hear, and I couldn't agree more.

  • #winning (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:06PM (#56299647)
    Facebook also dragged down the rest of the stock market [nytimes.com] Since its illegal to hire foreign nationals to run your campaign, not to mention the rest, looks like we are really in store for some serious #winning.
    • Frankly -- about time that a lot of so-called "tech" that's really based on making users the product and advertising to them crashes and burns. Tech Bubble 2.0 will end, and only the productive companies will emerge.
  • LOL (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:07PM (#56299651)

    It's so much bullshit, because it is a damage-control response to the CA issue only.

    The problem -- of which they are deeply and keenly aware -- is MUCH larger than just CA, and has existed this way, intentionally, for YEARS.

    This is a farcical non-response, though some of the measures they are now forced to take will indeed partially address the broader issues.

  • email address? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:07PM (#56299657)
    Why are outside "app" vendors being essentially handed lists of emails? Unfortunate that this will continue, even after the changes -- this is bad practice and promotes spam if nothing else.
  • Obviously, the fact that Cambridge Analytica was linked to Facebook was a grand mistake on their part. There shouldn't had been any connections to Facebook.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    and neither should anybody else.

  • OK... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:26PM (#56299829)

    "And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps."

    The official Facebook app doesn't count.

    • I wish this would have happened 6 months from now, for full GDPR goodness.
      • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

        Doesn't matter. WIth the entire EU bureacracy involved in rolling out GDPR, you can bet your arse that those responsible for enforcing data protection directives are casting eyes at Facebook and Cambridge Analytics already.

        It makes for such a nice test case: "Look, it is already illegal under the old rules, and under the new rules we can really put the hurt on them". And since CA is still an EU company (Brexit won't happen for another year), and Facebook does substantial business in the EU, I expect they ar

  • Obama, Trump (Score:4, Insightful)

    by labnet ( 457441 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:29PM (#56299851)

    So have I got this right.
    Obama scrapes Facebook data for two elections = okidoki
    Trump may have used Facebook data = SJW fainting scandal.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40... [fastcompany.com]

    • Facebook wasn't all that popular in 2008. MySpace was too much of a hot mess to get anything of value from it.
    • Re:Obama, Trump (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @04:42PM (#56300021)

      Obama scrapes Facebook data for two elections = okidoki
      Trump may have used Facebook data = SJW fainting scandal.

      Obama used Facebook data = Facebook is bad
      Trump used Facebook data = Facebook is bad

      Facebook = bad

    • Re:Obama, Trump (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:13PM (#56300321) Homepage

      This says it all https://i.imgur.com/hHX2L0d.pn... [imgur.com]

    • Re:Obama, Trump (Score:5, Insightful)

      by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @06:22PM (#56300735)
      I don't really feel like defending Obama because I disagree with a lot of what he did but explain to me this:

      Did Obama's campaign hire foreign nationals to do the scraping?

      Did Obama's campaign break the TOS of facebook or any other data privacy laws?

      Was Obama's campaign transparent in his methods? Because Cambridge Analyitica is secretive, uses shell companies and encrypted self deleting emails, and Nix is on tape saying he happily lies, uses honey pots and the like, and misdirects - did Obama engage in hiring people who use those methods?

      Did obama's campaign use fake web logs, fake news articles, and other knowingly factually incorrect sources, in a highly targeted approach to misdirecting unsuspecting undecided voters?

      You may consider it splitting hairs, I certainly don't approve of Obama's use of invasion of privicy for his social media campaign, but this looks like a case of comparing theft of a stack of free newspapers to a bank robbery.
      • You might want to look up the company Hakluyt before you get all righteous on this one.

    • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
      https://abcnews.go.com/Technol... [go.com]

      Obama campaign "asked" users, not the same thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... on the hands of those who use Facebook at all.

  • Gee, does that surprise you? They are being investigated by the FTC and who only knows how many private practice lawyers looking for a pay day on this one.

    It would be stupid for him to apologize or offer any sort of statement that could be construed as culpability.

  • For example, we will remove developers' access to your data if you haven't used their app in 3 months.

    In order to protect your privacy Facebook recommends that you change your name, date of birth and social circle at least once a quarter.

  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @05:54PM (#56300567)

    Translated ...
    "We didn't mean for our longstanding creepy privacy destruction policies to benefit a Republican rather than a Democrat this election cycle, and we promise it won't happen again"

  • by Anonymous Coward

    From all I've read about Mr. Zuckerberg, he is a sociopath, someone who cannot understand how his actions cause hurt to other people. As long as he and his little circle of people are taken care of, that's all that matters to him. To him, it's otherwise all just business. Hit him where he lives in order to wake him up to the fact that he has taken on a great responsibility. A moral responsibility to the entire human race. Either he takes his responsibility correctly, as a good human should do and fix the mi

  • by bayankaran ( 446245 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @06:11PM (#56300671) Homepage
    FB is nothing but a media company, with a news feed that resembles live TV, albeit personalized and "customisable" to an extent.

    In any publicly listed for profit media corp the tussle will be between the editorial department which wants full control on content vs marketing / sales which needs sales from selling space. FB has no editorial department, its the users for most part and algos, but marketing / sales is where FB earns its valuation and profile.

    What do marketing/sales do? Sell space on news feed, and sell user data.

    I feel FB will be profitable even if it stops selling user data. But then almighty greed.

    The only plus for current fiasco..."FB boy for POTUS" is DOA.
  • Social media is a system by which idiot will pay(with their time) to give their personal information to a company which(like all companies) main goal is to make their stockholders some money. Knowledge is power.
  • If he were being honest, it's my guess that he would list the mistakes as;
    1. Not being paid enough for the data, and
    2. Getting caught.

  • When you have a billion dollars, you have no excuse for not understanding the harm you product can cause. If your product is a car, you're on the hook for failed airbags, or whatever negligent harm your product causes. In the case of THIS SITE, that harm is towards civil society and democracy itself.

    How do you measure that level of damage and liability? And what is the adequate response to what is either epic negligence, or a shadowy sell-out? In either case damage has been done and someone owes us a lot mo

  • No, Facebook did not make any mistakes, because Facebook is a faceless abstraction. People at Facebook made mistakes (or more likely, knew exactly what they were doing and how much money it would make them). So who exactly were those people, Mark?

  • Really, Zuck??? People have been decrying for years how Facebook's policies were a threat to online privacy. You cannot possibly feign to be caught off-guard by this scandal when it was structurally due for roughly a decade.
  • Facebook/CA creating profiles from data gleaned "below the surface". In any other walk of life, industry, time in history "below the surface" would translate as "surveillance" - when did that become ok? It was abundantly clear what CA were up to in 2015, as outlined here http://www.netopia.eu/the-neve... [netopia.eu] We need to start paying for things online!

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!