Zuckerberg breaks silence as Facebook privacy crisis grows

Facebook is to further restrict developers’ access to user data in response to the growing scandal around Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of the company’s information, the social media site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced this morning.

“This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook,” declared Zuckerberg in a post on his site.

Zuckerberg: ‘A breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook’

Zuckerberg’s announcement comes after days of mounting pressure to respond to the privacy crisis, and follows the news that Cambridge Analytica and its former developers were suspended from Facebook’s service.

The revelations included that the data science company’s misused social media data during recent UK and US election campaigns.

In his announcement, Zuckerberg was at pains to assure Facebook users that their data would be safe, promising to make privacy and app management tools more prominent on the company’s website and mobile applications.

Developers who were accessing data before Facebook’s terms of use were tightened in 2014 will be facing an audit by the company, with Zuckerberg warning those who refuse Facebook’s demands will be banned from the service, as will any developer found to have abused the information they gathered.

“Protecting people’s information is the most important thing we do at Facebook. What happened with Cambridge Analytica was a major violation of trust, and we are taking this issue incredibly seriously,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mumbrella.

“Mark has announced some important steps for the future of our platform, which involve taking action on potential past abuse and putting stronger protections in place to prevent future abuse. We will set a higher standard for how developers build on Facebook, what people should expect from them, and, most importantly, from us.

“There’s more work to do, and we’ll be sharing details in the coming weeks about additional steps we’re taking to put people more in control of their data.”

Zuckerberg concluded his statement with further reassurances to users that Facebook respected their data, saying: “I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform.

“I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community. While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn’t change what happened in the past. We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward.”


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