After a week of terrible press and increasing uproar, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg apologized to the social-media platform's users on Sunday with full-page ads in seven British and three American newspapers, citing a "breach of trust." He was of course referring to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that has led to a 13% dip in company stock and a surging #deletefacebook movement.
As you've no doubt heard by now, it was recently uncovered that Cambridge Analytica, a London-based data mining and analytics company, purchased the private data of up to 50 million Facebook profiles. This data was easily gathered by a psychology professor via a quiz app that exploited Facebook's openness to sharing user data with app developers. Cambridge Analytica is being accused of using that data to inform election ad targeting for the campaign of President Donald Trump and others.
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The ad, which took the form of a letter from Zuckerberg, apologized and explained that the company is "now taking steps to ensure this doesn't happen again," including measures that stop third-party apps from "getting so much information" and "limiting the data apps get when you sign up."
“This was a breach of trust and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time,” the letter concluded. “I promise to do better for you.”
The ad appeared in The Observer, The Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror, Sunday Express, Sunday Telegraph, The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Many noted the conspicuous absence of an apology in Zuckerberg's first post to Facebook addressing the incident before he finally appeared on CNN and verbally apologized. The company seems to be making increasingly direct attempts at winning back the public's trust.
h/t CNN, The Verge
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