Mark Zuckerberg has broken his silence over Facebook's data scandal with Cambridge Analytica, saying the company "made mistakes".
The social media giant's boss had been notably absent since allegations were made that data firm Cambridge Analytica mined millions of Facebook users' personal data over the weekend.
Today, in a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said:
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 added that "the most important actions to prevent this from happening again" were "already taken years ago".
"But we also made mistakes, there's more to do, and we need to step up and do it," Zuckerberg wrote. He said Facebook was working with regulators to investigate what happened.
“This was a breach of trust between [academic Aleksandr] Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it. We need to fix that.”
In his post, Zuckerberg included information on three new steps Facebook will take to prevent "bad actors" from accessing people's information:
- Investigate apps with access to Facebook data and conduct a full audit of any app with "suspicious activity"
- Restrict developers' data access further to prevent other kinds of abuse
- Launch a tool at the top of the Facebook news feed to show users which apps have access to their data
Politicians in the UK, US and elsewhere in Europe had been ramping up pressure on Zuckerberg to offer an explanation for the scandal, which has wiped billions off of the company's market value.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, said in a separate post:
We know that this was a major violation of peoples' trust, and I deeply regret that we didn't do enough to deal with it. We have a responsibility to protect your data – and if we can't, then we don't deserve to serve you.
You deserve to have your information protected – and we'll keep working to make sure you feel safe on Facebook. Your trust is at the core of our service. We know that and we will work to earn it.
Sandberg added that Facebook is taking steps to reduce the data given to an app when users log in through Facebook.