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Zuckerberg Apologizes for Major Breach 03/22 06:14

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Breaking five days of silence, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg 
apologized for a "major breach of trust," admitted mistakes and outlined steps 
to protect user data in light of a privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected 
data-mining firm.

   "I am really sorry that happened," Zuckerberg said of the scandal involving 
data mining firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook has a "responsibility" to 
protect its users' data, he said in a Wednesday interview on CNN. If it fails, 
he said, "we don't deserve to have the opportunity to serve people."

   His mea culpa on cable television came a few hours after he acknowledged his 
company's mistakes in a Facebook post , but without saying he was sorry.

   Zuckerberg and Facebook's No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, had been quiet 
since news broke Friday that Cambridge may have used data improperly obtained 
from roughly 50 million Facebook users to try to sway elections. Cambridge's 
clients included Donald Trump's general-election campaign.

   Facebook shares have dropped some 8 percent, lopping about $46 billion off 
the company's market value, since the revelations were first published.

   In the CNN interview, Zuckerberg offered equivocal and carefully hedged 
answers to two other questions. He said, for instance, that he would be "happy" 
to testify before Congress, but only if it was "the right thing to do." He went 
on to note that many other Facebook officials might be more appropriate 
witnesses depending on what Congress wanted to know.

   Similarly, the Facebook chief seemed at one point to favor regulation for 
Facebook and other internet giants --- at least the "right" kind of rules, he 
said, such as ones that require online political ads to disclose who paid for 
them. In almost the next breath, however, Zuckerberg steered clear of endorsing 
a bill that would write such rules into federal law, and instead talked up 
Facebook's own voluntary efforts on that front.

   Even before the scandal broke, Facebook has already taken the most important 
steps to prevent a recurrence, Zuckerberg said. For example, in 2014, it 
reduced access outside apps had to user data. However, some of the measures 
didn't take effect until a year later, allowing Cambridge to access the data in 
the intervening months.

   Zuckerberg acknowledged that there is more to do.

   In his Facebook post, Zuckerberg said it will ban developers who don't agree 
to an audit. An app's developer will no longer have access to data from people 
who haven't used that app in three months. Data will also be generally limited 
to user names, profile photos and email, unless the developer signs a contract 
with Facebook and gets user approval.

   In a separate post, Facebook said it will inform people whose data was 
misused by apps. Facebook first learned of this breach of privacy more than two 
years ago, but hadn't mentioned it publicly until Friday.

   The company said it was "building a way" for people to know if their data 
was accessed by "This Is Your Digital Life," the psychological-profiling quiz 
app that researcher Aleksandr Kogan created and paid about 270,000 people to 
take part in. Cambridge Analytica later obtained information from the app for 
about 50 million Facebook users, as the app also vacuumed up data on people's 
friends --- including those who never downloaded the app or gave explicit 

   Chris Wylie, a Cambridge co-founder who left in 2014, has said one of the 
firm's goals was to influence people's perceptions by injecting content, some 
misleading or false, all around them. It's not clear whether Facebook would be 
able to tell users whether they had seen such content.

   Cambridge has shifted the blame to Kogan, which the firm described as a 
contractor. Kogan described himself as a scapegoat.

   Kogan, a psychology researcher at Cambridge University, told the BBC that 
both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have tried to place the blame on him, 
even though the firm ensured him that everything he did was legal.

   "One of the great mistakes I did here was I just didn't ask enough 
questions," he said. "I had never done a commercial project. I didn't really 
have any reason to doubt their sincerity. That's certainly something I strongly 
regret now."

   He said the firm paid some $800,000 for the work, but it went to 
participants in the survey.

   "My motivation was to get a dataset I could do research on," he said. "I 
have never profited from this in any way personally."

   Authorities in Britain and the United States are investigating.

   David Carroll, a professor at Parsons School of Design in New York who sued 
Cambridge Analytica in the U.K., said he was not satisfied with Zuckerberg's 
response, but acknowledged that "this is just the beginning."

   He said it was "insane" that Facebook had yet to take legal action against 
Cambridge parent SCL Group over the inappropriate data use. Carroll himself 
sued Cambridge Friday to recover data on him that the firm had obtained.

   Sandy Parakilas, who worked in data protection for Facebook in 2011 and 
2012, told a U.K. parliamentary committee Wednesday that the company was 
vigilant about its network security but lax when it came to protecting users' 

   He said personal data including email addresses and in some cases private 
messages was allowed to leave Facebook servers with no real controls on how the 
data was used after that.

   "The real challenge here is that Facebook was allowing developers to access 
the data of people who hadn't explicitly authorized that," he said, adding that 
the company had "lost sight" of what developers did with the data.


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