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Zuckerberg to Congress: 'It Was My Mistake, and I'm Sorry'

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to take full responsibility for the Cambridge Analytica and election-tampering scandals that have plagued his company, according to his prepared statement released this morning (April 9) by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for his meeting on Capitol Hill to testify before the House and Senate this week. Credit: Bill Clark/Getty

(Image credit: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for his meeting on Capitol Hill to testify before the House and Senate this week. Credit: Bill Clark/Getty)

"We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I'm sorry," Zuckerberg plans to tell the committee when he appears before it Wednesday (April 11). "I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here."

However, Zuckerberg's statement nonetheless lays some of the blame for the debacle with Aleksandr Kogan, the Russian-American researcher who created the app that harvested the Facebook user data of 87 million people.

Kogan passed along the data to Cambridge Analytica in violation of Facebook's rules. He had previously worked with Facebook's own researchers, but now says he's being used as a scapegoat.

"We need to make sure that developers like Kogan who got access to a lot of information in the past can't get access to as much information going forward," Zuckerberg plans to say.

MORE: What to Do If Facebook Says Your Data Has Gone to Cambridge Analytica

To that end, the statement adds, Facebook is "in the process of investigating every app that had access to a large amount of information before we locked down our platform in 2014."

"If we detect suspicious activity, we'll do a full forensic audit," Zuckerberg plans to tell the committee. "And if we find that someone is improperly using data, we'll ban them and tell everyone affected."

The rest of the statement details changes that Facebook has already announced, such as limiting the amount of information third-party apps can access and requiring that creators of political ads have verified Facebook accounts.

We don't yet have Zuckerberg's prepared statement for his planned appearance Tuesday (April 10) before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee. The most newsworthy statements will probably come during the question-and-answer sessions as Zuckerberg is grilled by senators and congressmen.

"It will take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make," Zuckerberg plans to tell the House panel, "but I'm committed to getting it right."

Paul Wagenseil
Paul Wagenseil is a senior editor at Tom's Guide focused on security and privacy. That's all he's going to tell you unless you meet him in person.