Zuckerberg: Facebook taking steps to address Cambridge Analytica breach

By Daniel Uria  |  March 21, 2018 at 6:18 PM
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March 21 (UPI) -- Mark Zuckerberg outlined a series of steps to protect Facebook users' data Wednesday following a "breach of trust" that jeopardized millions of users data.

The Facebook founder and CEO issued a statement saying the company will investigate apps with access to large amounts of user information, further restrict developers' access to data and place a tool at the top of users' feeds to show which apps have access to their information.

"We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you," Zuckerberg said. "I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Zuckerberg's statement comes four days after Facebook suspended the account of data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which ran data for President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, collecting more than 50 million Facebook users' private information without permission.

As part of its investigation into apps with access to significant amounts of data, Zuckerberg said Facebook will ban any developer that doesn't agree to a thorough audit as well as developers that misused personally identifiable information and will inform users affected by those apps.

The social network also plans to reduce the data given to apps to include only a user's name, profile photo and email address, and remove developers' access to user data if an app hasn't been used within three months. It also will require developers to sign a contract to ask for access to users' posts or other private data.

Facebook also will place an existing tool -- which allows users to view which apps are using their data and revoke those permissions -- at the top of the site's News Feed to make it easier to find.

Zuckerberg said the company took steps to "dramatically reduce data access in 2014" after a personality quiz app created by Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan was installed by around 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friends' data.

Kogan gained access to millions of user's data through the app, which he later shared with Cambridge Analytica, according to Zuckerberg.

"Beyond the steps we had already taken in 2014, I believe these are the next steps we must take to continue to secure our platform," Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg also took responsibility for the leak and said he is "serious about doing what it takes to protect our community" of Facebook users.

"I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform," he said. "While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn't change what happened in the past."

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