Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Breaks Silence “We Made Mistakes”

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a lengthy post on (where else?) Facebook, apologized for mistakes made by his company and outlined steps the social media giant plans to take for protect user data in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica debacle which revealed millions of users data was “harvested” for political use by folks working on behalf of the Trump campaign.

We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.

[snip]

I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform. I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community. While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn’t change what happened in the past. We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward.

I want to thank all of you who continue to believe in our mission and work to build this community together. I know it takes longer to fix all these issues than we’d like, but I promise you we’ll work through this and build a better service over the long term.

After a detailed timeline of how Zuckerberg sees the Cambridge Analytica debacle, the CEO listed steps to be taken including:

• Conducting full audits of apps with suspicious activity and/or access to large amounts of data.

• Restricting developers’ data access and removing access completely for apps that you haven’t used in 3 months.

• Making it easier to know which apps you’ve actually given access to.

According to reports, Facebook’s stock has taken a $50 billion hit since news of the Cambridge Analytica saga was made public.

Folks have also noticed that Zuckerberg has sold lots of his own stock in recent weeks.

Cambridge Analytica: We Ran Trump’s Digital Campaign

Britain’s Channel 4 has done an in-depth undercover investigation on data mining company Cambridge Analytica, which claims it handled “all the digital campaign, the television campaign and our data informed all the strategy” for the Trump campaign.

The shadowy company boasts their efforts and expertise with data was the key to Trump’s to victories in swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin with a razor-thin margin of “40,000 votes.” 

CA says their micro-targeting of social media users in those three states alone gave Trump his victory in the electoral college system, despite losing the popular vote by more than 3 million votes.

In the past few days, Cambridge Analytica has come under fire for “harvesting” millions of Facebook users private information without permission.

As a result of the ongoing investigations, chief executive Alexander Nix has been suspended by his company.

This is the third of a series of reports.

If you don’t want to watch the full 17 minute report below, just take in the first four or five. Quite eye-opening.

Last year during a tour to promote her book What Happened, Hillary Clinton spoke to Channel 4 about this “new” kind of data-driven campaigning and how it may have affected the outcome of the election.

Facebook Stock Dives On News Of Cambridge Analytics “Harvesting” User Data For 2016 Election

In light of the recent revelations of a data breach by Cambridge Analytics of millions and millions of Facebook users, the social media’s stock has dropped drastically today.

From Bloomberg:

Facebook Inc. shares posted their steepest drop since 2015 as U.S. and European officials demanded answers to reports that a political advertising firm retained information on millions of the social network’s users without their consent.

Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are calling on Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to appear before lawmakers to explain how U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica, the data-analysis firm that helped Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency, was able to harvest the personal information.

According to The Daily Beast, Facebook has so far lost $42 billion in market value.

Trump’s Voter Profiling Firm “Harvested” Private Info From 50 Million Facebook Users Without Permission

Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica “harvested” the private information of over 50 million Facebook users without permission in hopes of influencing voter behavior.

From The New York Times:

The firm had secured a $15 million investment from Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor, and wooed his political adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, with the promise of tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. But it did not have the data to make its new products work.

So the firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission, according to former Cambridge employees, associates and documents, making it one of the largest data leaks in the social network’s history.

The breach allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate, developing techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump’s campaign in 2016.

An examination by The New York Times and The Observer of London reveals how Cambridge Analytica’s drive to bring to market a potentially powerful new weapon put the firm — and wealthy conservative investors seeking to reshape politics — under scrutiny from investigators and lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Christopher Wylie, who helped found Cambridge and worked there until late 2014, said of its leaders: “Rules don’t matter for them. For them, this is a war, and it’s all fair.”

“They want to fight a culture war in America,” he added. “Cambridge Analytica was supposed to be the arsenal of weapons to fight that culture war.”

According to The Times, Cambridge paid a third party to lie to Facebook in order to acquire the data saying the information was to be used for “academic purposes.”

After knowing about the data breach for months, Facebook said last night it is suspending the account of Cambridge Analytica. I’m guessing the Times‘ article applied some pressure, no?

The article goes on to say that Cambridge still has most or all of the private information.