NEW YORK – Yesterday, March 21, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, sat with CNN Money’s Laurie Segall in a candid, and what appeared to be a difficult interview to answer tough questions on Facebook’s position in regard not only to the recent leaks related to the user privacy breach caused by Cambridge Analytica, but also its position on whether or not it’s platform has been used to influence past elections and what the company is doing to avoid this type of manipulation in the future.
On March 21, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, sat with CNN Money’s Laurie Segall in a candid and difficult, interview to answer tough questions on Facebook’s position in regard not only to the recent leaks related to the user privacy breach caused by Cambridge Analytica. Photo credit: CNN, screenshot.
Zuckerberg, 33, who launched Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room in 2004, is regarded as one of the World’s Wealthiest People according to Time Magazine and was ranked #10 on a list of the Most Powerful People in the World by Forbes. There is no question that this is a fellow worth listening to when he speaks openly, which isn’t often. In fact, Segall asked why he doesn’t speak personally more often when called to Congress or some other regulatory round-table, in which he explained that the key to the testimony is having the most information available.
The short answer is, I’m happy to, if it is the right thing to do. Facebook testifies in front of Congress regularly, on a number of topics, some high profile, and some not, and our objective, is always to provide Congress, this extremely important job, to have the most information that they can. Right, we see a small slice of activity on Facebook, but Congress gets to have access to the information across Facebook, and all other companies, and the intelligence community and everything, so what we try to do is send the person at Facebook that will have the most knowledge about what Congress is trying to learn, so if that is me, than I am happy to go. What I think we have found so far is that people who’s whole job, is focused on an area, but I would imagine at some point there will be a topic where I am the sole authority on it, and it will make sense for me to do it, and I will be happy to do it.
Some important take away points from the interview were that Facebook plans to build a tool that will allow every day ordinary users of the platform to check if their information is included in this particular breach, and likely future breaches, which this particular one, which originated back in 2015, and not opening reported until now, used a Personality Quiz app to gain access to user data and the data of their friends, potentially opening up vulnerabilities to millions of users; as high as 50 million, from what has been reported.
Zuck, which friends refer to him as, said Facebook banned the app and upon confronting the app developers seeking that all data collected be deleted, they received formal certification that it was done. Their mistake, according to the social network founder, was trusting in that certification and believing them.
So, this was a major breach of trust, and I am really sorry that this happened. We have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data, and if we can’t do that, then we don’t deserve the opportunity to serve people, so our responsibility now, is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again, and there are a few basic things that I think we can do to ensure that. One is, that making sure that developers like Aleksandr Kogan, who got access to a lot of information and then improperly used it, just don’t get access to as much information going forward, so we are doing a set of things to restrict the amount of access that developers can get going forward, but the other is that we need to make sure there aren’t any other Cambridge Analytica’s out there; right, or folks, who have improperly accessed data, so we are going to go now, and investigate every app that has access to a large amount of information from before we locked down our platform, and if we detect any suspicious activity, we are going to do a full forensic audit.
An extremely interesting interview to say the least; if you use Facebook or follow user security and data privacy issues, this is certainly one to watch.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to CNNMoney’s Laurie Segall after the news broke this weekend that Cambridge Analytica accessed information from 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge. CNN, Published on Mar 21, 2018, News & Politics, Standard YouTube License.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Advertising Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, authored a ‘how to’ book called ‘‘Mastering Your Website’, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy company Searchen Networks®