Mark Zuckerberg Insists Facebook Can Investigate Itself Despite Allegations of Routine Data Mishandling

Facebook has been embroiled in a scandal over the harvesting of user data by a British firm linked to US President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign
© AFP Christophe SIMON

Despite evidence suggesting that Facebook has been unable to properly look after user data, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has insisted that the company will investigate itself.

“I’m used to when people legally certify that they’re going to do something, that they do it, but I think this was clearly a mistake in retrospect… We need to make sure that we don’t make that mistake ever again, which is why one of the things I announced today is we’re going to do a full investigation into every app that had access to a large amount of data from around this time, before we locked down the platform,” declared Zuckerberg in an interview with CNN. “And we’re now just not going to take people’s word for it when they give us a legal certification. If we see anything suspicious, which I think there probably were signs in this case that we could’ve looked into, we’re going to do a full forensic audit.”

“I think the question here is are app developers, people who have been given access to their data, are they doing something that people don’t want? Or are they selling the data in a way that people don’t want? Are they giving it to someone they don’t have authorization to do? This is something I think we now need to go and figure out,” he continued, adding, “The good news here is we already changed the platform policies in 2014, but before that we know what the apps were which had access to data, we know how many people were using those services, and we can look at the patterns of their data requests, and based on that we think we’ll have a pretty clear sense of whether anyone was doing anything abnormal, and we’ll be able to do a full audit of anyone who is questionable.”

Zuckerberg concluded that, “It’s hard to know what we’ll find, but we’re going to review thousands of apps. So, this is going to be an intensive process, but this is important.”

The Facebook CEO also insisted on self-investigation and auditing in his statement on Wednesday.

Despite this, Cambridge Analytica will be subjected to an audit conducted by a third party hired by Facebook.

Following the Cambridge Analytica data controversy, Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook platform operations manager, claimed in an interview that Facebook routinely mishandled user data, allegedly giving it freely to many third parties, and expressing a lack of interest in finding out what the companies were doing with it.

Although Facebook may insist it can investigate itself, its data security practices, and third-party app developers, it has been reported that the FTC is investigating Facebook as well.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.


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