NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologized for the first time in response to his company’s privacy scandal.
“This was a major breach of trust, and I’m really sorry that this happened,” he said during an interview with CNN.
In a Facebook post and during the interview, Zuckerberg broke his silence following reports that his company may have mishandled data of more than 50 million users. That data was later used by Cambridge Analytica, a consultant to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Zuckerberg acknowledged that mistakes were made and the company will take steps to ensure user data is protected.
“We have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data, and if we can’t do that, then we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people,” he said.
Zuckerberg added that he was willing to testify before Congress and is open to more regulations on technology companies.
In 2013, a researcher built a personality quiz app that collected psychological data from Facebook users and some of their friends. The information was then sold to a third-party, Cambridge Analytica, and used in targeted political advertising.
“You can’t share data in a way that people don’t know or don’t consent to,” said Zuckerberg.
The Facebook CEO said in 2015 journalists informed the company that Cambridge Analytica had data from its users. Facebook asked them to delete it. Zuckerberg said Facebook believed Cambridge Analytica had after it provided them with a formal certification.
“I’m used to when people legally certify that they’re gonna do something, that they do it. But I think that this was clearly a mistake, in retrospect,” he said.
In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg outline some of the changes the company vows to make. He said Facebook will “investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information” prior to 2014 when they reduced data access. He said Facebook will ban any developer that does not agree to a thorough audit and take steps to help users understand which apps they’ve allowed access to their data.