Cambridge Analytica has been in the news for stealing Facebook user data without receiving a threat from the social media company. Founder Mark Zuckerberg has been silent throughout the whole scandal, but has now revealed his thoughts on the matter in a Facebook post. Zuckerberg gave a timeline of the working relationship with the company along with the apology.
Will the apology be enough for users who have dealt with the constant stream of problems from the company since the 2016 election?
The most important part of Zuckerberg's statement is how harsh the apology is towards the company. At the end of the statement, he takes full responsibility for what has happened. Zuckerberg adds that he is serious about making changes and that he wants to protect Facebook's user community.
Zuckerberg also adds that this sort of data breach isn't possible anymore due to changes that occurred in 2014. He adds that Facebook will learn from this experience to make the company more secure.
Zuckerberg Speaks Out
Zuckerberg has been the spokesperson of Facebook recently pledging changes in response to the problems that the company has seen in the last year. From the spread of Russian propaganda on the social media platform to the #DeleteFacebook campaign on social media, Facebook has had a rough time since the presidential election.
In his post about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, he started out by giving users what he called an update on the situation. Zuckerberg shared a timeline of how a research firm was able to take user information without breaking any of Facebook's terms by using the company's Facebook Platform that allowed apps to be used on the service.
Zuckerberg's timeline showed that Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan accessed data from around 300,000 users who installed a personality quiz app on their profiles in 2013. Because of the way that the Facebook Platform worked, this also gave Kogan access to tens of millions of their friends' user data.
He stated that the company first learned that Cambridge Analytica had the data from journalists at the Guardian in 2015. This led to Kogan's app being banned from the platform. Zuckerberg also stressed that Cambridge Analytica was banned after last week's story regarding the data that was obtained.
In the apology, Zuckerberg outlined changes that are coming to the platform to prevent more user data to be taken without their permission again. The first step will be to perform an audit of the apps that currently have access to user data. He says Facebook is planning to ban any developer that doesn't agree to the audit. Apps that are found to be misusing user data will be banned and users will be notified if their information has been misused.
In the second step of the upcoming changes, Zuckerberg says that the company will be restricting the amount of data that developers can currently access. A new time window will be implemented, and if users haven't used an app for three months, then developers' access to the data will be removed. The only data that can be accessed will be names, profile photos, email addresses.
Zuckerberg's third change includes letting users know what apps have accessed users' data. This will show up as a change next month above the News Feed. It will be a tool that allows users to revoke access from apps to access their data.