Tech Brief: Mark Zuckerberg Responds to the Facebook Data Scandal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has finally broken his silence on the data-harvesting revelations made public last week that have hammered its stock price, prickled lawmakers and privacy watchdogs, and eroded users' trust in the platform. In a Facebook post just published minutes ago, he admitted it was "a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook," and "between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it," but failed to give any concrete answers as to why the social media platform didn't do more to enforce its policy prohibiting apps from sharing user data with other parties, or why it took Cambridge Analytica at their word when they said they deleted the data without actually deleting it.

In a separate update made today, Facebook said it will begin taking the following steps to address abuse of personal information by third-party apps (reproduced from the Newsroom post):
  1. Tell people about data misuse. We will tell people affected by apps that have misused their data.
  2. Turn off access for unused apps. If someone hasn’t used an app within the last three months, we will turn off the app’s access to their information.
  3. Restrict Facebook Login data. We are changing Login, so that in the next version, we will reduce the data that an app can request without app review to include only name, profile photo and email address. Requesting any other data will require our approval.
  4. Encourage people to manage the apps they use. We already show people what apps their accounts are connected to and control what data they’ve permitted those apps to use. Going forward, we’re going to make these choices more prominent and easier to manage.