Facebook’s Zuckerberg: 'We're Sorry This Happened,' Here's What We're Doing

Five days after it was revealed that political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica had access to personal information from more than 50 million Facebook users before it worked with Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on CNN Wednesday evening (March 21) to talk about the growing scandal.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his appearance on CNN Wednesday evening. Credit: CNN

(Image credit: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his appearance on CNN Wednesday evening. Credit: CNN)

In an interview on Anderson Cooper 360 with correspondent Laurie Segall, Zuckerberg was contrite and mentioned several steps the company was planning to ensure that a similar breach wouldn't happen again.

"We're going to make sure there aren't any other Cambridge Analyticas out there," Zuckerberg said.

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To that end, Zuckerberg said, Facebook would not give developers as much access to users' information going forward. He also said that Facebook would investigate all the apps that have access to a large amount of user information -- of which there are thousands, he said -- and would make sure that they weren't using that data improperly. He did not provide a timeline of how long that investigation would take place.

Zuckerberg said Facebook plans to notify every user whose data might have been compromised. However, he did not say what kind of steps those users might be able to take to secure their information.

"This was a major breach, and I'm really sorry it happened," he said. "We want to make sure that developers like Aleksandr Kogan ... don't get as much access to information going forward."

Zuckerberg said Facebook had been active in deploying tools to combat election interference following the 2016 election, and that he would be willing to testify before Congress, "if it's the right thing to do."

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Earlier in the day, prior to the interview, Zuckerberg made his first comments about the incident since it first came to light.

"We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you," he wrote in a post on Facebook. "I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Facebook users' data was originally collected in 2014, with Facebook's knowledge and cooperation, for an academic study conducted by a firm called Global Science Research (GSR). Unbeknownst to Facebook -- and in violation of the company's rules -- Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge researcher who ran GSR and obtained the data, sold it and the methods of analyzing it to Cambridge Analytica and its British parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL).

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Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.