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“We failed the users”: Zuckerberg gave several interviews about the scandal with a massive data leak

Screenshot from CNN
Screenshot from CNN

On March 21, Facebook’s head Mark Zuckerberg first commented on the scandal at the center of which turned out to be social: it turned out that the analytical firm Cambridge Analytica, bypassing the rules of the service, received personal data from 50 million users who allegedly used Donald Trump in the election campaign.

Socset faced with pressure from the authorities and ordinary people, but Zuckerberg remained silent for several days. After recording on Facebook with an explanation of the situation, three editions – CNN , Wired and Recode – released big interviews with the founder of the social network.  the most important of them.

About illegal use of data

Zuckerberg in all interviews avoided the expression “data leakage”, replacing it with the phrase “undermining confidence.” Until 2014, Facebook allowed developers to collect user data (including information about their friends in the social network), but they did not have the right to transfer them to third parties or use for commercial purposes.

Not all followed the rule, for example, Professor Cambridge Alexander Kogan, who sold data to the firm Cambridge Analytica. Sotsset learned about this only in 2015 from the journalists of The Guardian and demanded to delete the information, but did not check it.

Looking back, I think this was our biggest mistake. That’s why we need to stop relying on developers and conducting an audit of each third-party application with access to a lot of data. Or just suspicious applications. The same thing we had to do in the case of Cambridge Analytica.

Mark Zuckerberg
head of Facebook

According to Zuckerberg, most actions to improve the protection of user data were made “four or five” years ago. “But if we had done this before, now we would not be here,” added the head of Facebook. Audit applications will take months, and the cost of processing will exceed “hundreds of millions of dollars.” In total, the company will make 15 changes in the work of the platform to avoid a repetition of the situation.

On the role of Facebook data in US elections

Zuckerberg admitted that until the end of the audit, he could not say exactly whether Alexander Kogan had transmitted data not only to Cambridge Analytica, but also to other structures like “Russian operatives”. But he claims that the British firm received from the professor not an unprocessed array of user data, but only certain “personal characteristics.”

In 2015, we demanded answers from Cambridge Analutica. And they said: “We never received Facebook data. We have personal characteristics and secondary data from Kogan, but they were useless for our models, so we deleted everything and did not use it. ”

Mark Zuckerberg
head of Facebook

But according to the media, the company did not delete all the data, but kept them for the Trump campaign. The founder of Facebook noted that this moment of the company has yet to be investigated.

About the sale of company data

After the scandal with Cambridge Analytica on Twitter, the hashtag #deletefacebook became popular – users called for deleting their accounts on social networks, because that person is careless about their personal data. At the same time, some bloggers wrote that Facebook itself sells data “on the side.” Zuckerberg stressed that this is not so.

This is one of the main misconceptions about Facebook – that we are selling data. We have never done this, it is a key part of our model. We do not want the data to “come out.” […] The advertiser can come to us and say: “Hey, I’d like to reach women in this age category.” We can do this, but the client will not receive any data.

Mark Zuckerberg
head of Facebook

The founder of the social network added that he understands how important the users are to the safety of their data, but he “failed” the community. In his opinion, the first question of the user of Facebook or WhatsApp: “Can I safely download something there?”. And now the main task of the company is to restore people’s trust and prevent the emergence of new Cambridge Analytica.

About responsibility

In a conversation with Recode, Zuckerberg expressed concern that his own ideology had too much influence on the rules and regulation of Facebook. Over time, he wants to solve these problems with the whole community, but so far he has to take responsibility for himself, although he does not want to do it.

I feel uncomfortable: here in California, in the office, making decisions for people around the world. There are questions like this: where is the line between freedom of speech and the rhetoric of hatred? Who chose me as the person who defines it? I have to do this because I’m the head of Facebook, but I would prefer not to.

So far this is part of my job, right? And I am responsible. But I want to find a way that we reflect the values ​​of different communities. I have not figured it out yet.

Mark Zuckerberg
head of Facebook

About your mistakes

A CNN journalist asked Zuckerberg what he regrets from the moment he created the social network. Facebook founder could not choose one item: he said there were too many of them.

I made all the mistakes that could be made. I founded Facebook when I was young [19] and inexperienced. I made technical mistakes, business mistakes, trusted the wrong people, launched more unsuccessful products than most people in my whole life. But we are working on our mistakes.

Mark Zuckerberg
head of Facebook
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