In the wake of recent revelations about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg doesn’t exclude other data misuse.
Sandberg gave two interviews last weeks to National Public Radio and NBC’s “Today Show during which she admitted the severe responsibility of the company. She pointed out that Facebook was not able to prevent third parties from abusing its platform, she said that the company should have taken further steps to protect the privacy of its users.
“We know that we did not do enough to protect people’s data,” Sandberg told NPR. “I’m really sorry for that. Mark is really sorry for that, and what we’re doing now is taking really firm action.”
“Safety and security is never done, it’s an arms race,” she said. “You build something, someone tries to abuse it.”
“But the bigger is, ‘Should we have taken these steps years ago anyway?'” Sandberg said. “And the answer to that is yes.”
“We really believed in social experiences, we really believed in protecting privacy, but we were way too idealistic,” she added.
“We did not think enough about the abuse cases and now we’re taking really firm steps across the board.”
One of the most debated aspects of the Cambridge Analytica scandal is that Facebook was aware of the misuses years before. Unfortunately, this is true and Sandberg confirmed it. She said that Facebook was first aware two and a half years ago that Cambridge Analytica had obtained user data in an illegal way.
“When we received word that this researcher gave the data to Cambridge Analytica, they assured us it was deleted,” she said. “We did not follow up and confirm, and that’s on us — and particularly once they were active in the election, we should have done that.”
When asked by journalists at “Today Show” if other cases of misuse of user data could be expected, Sandberg
Sandberg was asked by the “Today Show” if other cases of misuse of user data could be expected, she said it is possible and for this reason, the social media giant is doing an investigation.
“We’re doing an investigation, we’re going to do audits and yes, we think it’s possible, that’s why we’re doing the audit,” she told NPR..
“That’s why this week we shut down a number of use cases in other areas — in groups, in pages, in events — because those are other places where we haven’t necessarily found problems, but we think that we should be more protective of people’s data,”
Sandberg announced that from next week, the news feed will be integrated with a feature that will allow users to see all the apps they’ve shared their data with.
“a place where you can see all the apps you’ve shared your data with and a really easy way to delete them.”
Sandberg admitted that the Facebook should have detected the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, but this was a lesson for the company that in the future will not permit it again.
“That was something we should have caught, we should have known about,” she told NPR. “We didn’t. Now we’ve learned.”
“We’re going after fake accounts,” “A lot of it is politically motivated but even more is economically motivated.”
Zuckerberg will appear before a US congressional panel next week to address privacy issues.
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(Security Affairs – Cambridge Analytica, Facebook)