Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Admits ‘Mistake’ in Data-mining Scandal Involving Cambridge Analytica, Says We Don’t Deserve to Serve You
The academic, Alexandre Kogan, who developed the application which was used by Cambridge Analytica to mine data said he didn't know that the data will be used in Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
New York, Mar 22: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has broken his silence on the data-mining scandal that has been unearthed in the United States, as he admitted mistakes and promised action to prevent such incidents in the future. In an emotive message, he said: “we have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.”
He was reacting on the news that a firm called Cambridge Analytica stole data of over 50 million Facebook accounts to sway the elections in the United States.
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After a four-day silence, Zuckerberg said the company had already taken steps towards preventing data-stealing in 2014, but the measures didn’t take effect until 2016, which allowed Cambridge Analytica to fish data. He said the company must do more to protect its users. (Also read: Data Theft: Mark Zuckerberg Can be Summoned, Warns Ravi Shankar Prasad)
“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. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it,” he said in a Facebook post.
He outlined the steps the company will take in the future. “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,” he wrote.
“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,” he added.
The academic, Alexandre Kogan, who developed the application which was used by Cambridge Analytica to mine data, said he didn’t know that the data will be used in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He said even though he was being blamed for the data breach, Cambridge Analytica had assured him that what they were doing was perfectly legal. He further said he was being used as a scapegoat.
The authorities in Britain and the United States are investigating the matter.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Information Technology, on Wednesday sent out a stern warning to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the data breach allegations. “Mr Mark Zuckerberg, you better know the observation of IT Minister of India, if any data theft of Indians is done with the collusion of Facebook systems, it will not be tolerated. We have got stringent powers in the IT Act including summoning you in India,” he said.
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