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Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg broke his silence about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. And he wants everyone to know that he’s “really sorry” it happened.
The Facebook CEO spoke to a range of media outlets on Wednesday about the controversy, from the New York Times to Recode. Prior to his public appearances and interviews, there were “widespread questions about his whereabouts,” the Times points out.
“This was a major breach of trust, and I’m really sorry that this happened,” Zuckerberg told CNN. “We have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data, and if we can’t do that, we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people.”
News of the scandal broke last weekend, when several publications reported that political analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked with the Trump campaign in 2016, had unethically obtained personal data from about 50 million Facebook accounts.
While Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, SCL Group, from its platform, the incident raised widespread questions about the social media platform — and how it handles user privacy and data.
Zuckerberg admitted that his firm made mistakes over how it responded to the incident and that he wishes that Facebook had “taken steps earlier” than it did. In other interviews, the Facebook CEO said that he’d be open to testifying before Congress about the scandal — and he said that Facebook will notify every user impacted by the data breach
And, interestingly, Zuckerberg mentioned that he isn’t totally opposed to the platform being more closely regulated.
“I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” he told CNN. “There are things like ad transparency regulation that I would love to see.” In a separate interview with Wired, Zuckerberg added that “there are some really nuanced questions, though, about how to regulate.”
Zuckerberg also told the Times that Facebook will double its security force this year, and will work to deploy platforms that will deal with a range of issues — including election meddling, which the CEO told CNN he’s “sure” someone is trying in the 2018 midterm elections.
The CEO also outlined several basic steps the firm can take to combat improper use of data in the future, including, restricting the amount of personal data that developers can access across the board.
He also said Facebook would be launching investigations into “every app” that has access to large amounts of user data to determine their motives.
“Our responsibility now is to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Zuckerberg said.