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Mark Zuckerberg speaks out over Cambridge Analytica, admits Facebook failed users

Tyrone Stewart

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has finally spoken out about the Cambridge Analytica incident, conducting several interviews in a media blitz and by making a post to his social network, admitting that the platform has failed its users.

In Zuckerberg’s comments, he said there had been a breach of trust between Aleksandr Kogan, Cambridge Analytica, and Facebook, as well as a breach of trust between Facebook and its users.

The Facebook founder also outlined the steps that the social network had already taken to prevent something like this from happening, but made it clear that the platform has to – and will do – more.

Back in 2014, not long after Kogan obtained the data he would later pass on to Cambridge Analytica, Facebook made changes to limit the amount of data apps were able to access and added a requirement for developers to gain approval from Facebook before they were able to request any data from users.

As the changes Facebook made only apply to apps requesting data after the update was made in 2014, Facebook has said it will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before the change. Any app displaying suspicious activity will be audited and, if misuse is identified, banned from Facebook.

Zuckerberg and Facebook have also promised to let people know if their data has been – or may have been – misused by apps. In the next month, this transparency will see Facebook introduce a tool at the top of the news feed which will display the apps users have linked to their Facebook accounts and provide an easier way for them to revoke the permissions those apps have to their data.

Furthermore, if a user hasn’t accessed an app within the last three months, Facebook will turn off the app’s access to their information. And the social network is making changes to Login, meaning apps that use Facebook as a login option will only have access to the most basic user data, unless the app gains further approval.

Lastly, Facebook is expanding its bug bounty program, rewarding more people for reporting any misuses of data by app developers. Zuckerberg’s platform promises there will be further steps taken over the next few weeks to give users more control over their data.