Breaking his silence on the Cambridge Analytica situation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 22 March, said that “Facebook doesn’t deserve to serve its people, if it cannot protect their data.”
Admitting that Facebook had made a mistake in the Cambridge Analytica situation, Zuckerberg said that the most important steps to prevent a similar situation from repeating had already been taken years ago.
In a long Facebook post, Zuckerberg said that he was working to understand what had happened, to ensure it does not happen again.
Talking about the way forward for the social media platform, Zuckerberg began by mentioning the 2014 overhaul, which limited the data that apps could access.
Most importantly, apps like Kogan’s could no longer ask for data about a person’s friends unless their friends had also authorized the app. We also required developers to get approval from us before they could request any sensitive data from people. These actions would prevent any app like Kogan’s from being able to access so much data today.Zuckerberg, in a Facebook post
Outlining a three-pronged approach, he said that the first step would be to review the apps that had access to large amounts of data, prior to the 2014 overhaul, and conduct a ‘full audit of any app with suspicious activity’.
We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps.
The second step, he said, would be to restrict the data the developers can access to prevent any other abuse.
For example, we will remove developers’ access to your data if you haven’t used their app in 3 months. We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in -- to only your name, profile photo, and email address. We’ll require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data.
The third step will entail the introduction of a new feature on top of the new feed, which allow a user to view the apps they’ve used, and revoke the apps’ permission to their data.
In the next month, we will show everyone a tool at the top of your News Feed with the apps you’ve used and an easy way to revoke those apps’ permissions to your data. We already have a tool to do this in your privacy settings, and now we will put this tool at the top of your News Feed to make sure everyone sees it.
Lastly, stating that the Cambridge Analytica situation would not repeat again, Zuckerberg said that the company will continue to “learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward.”