As the avalanche of criticism for Facebook continues to roll in regarding the company’s role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his public silence and apologized. For a company that has tried to downplay its scandals in the past, this is a notable move. Though it could prove to be too little, too late for users who are already angry about the data breach.
The scandal began when it was revealed last weekend that data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained info from up to 50 million Facebook users to target ads during the 2016 presidential campaign. The ethics of what they firm did are a little murky, but it did break Facebook’s rules by getting the information from a third-party app. (That app obtained it from users via a personality test quiz.)
At first, Facebook executives tried to defend the company by pointing out that it technically did nothing wrong, but after facing intense public backlash (and a growing movement to #DeleteFacebook), Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg owned up to the problem and vowed to better protect our private information.
“This was a major breach of trust. I’m really sorry this happened. We have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data,” he told CNN.
“I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform,” he also wrote on his personal Facebook page. “I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community.”
Of course, Zuckerberg can say that he’s serious all he wants. But the time has come to actually prove it.