Mark Zuckerberg takes out series of full-page newspaper ads to apologise over his role in data harvesting scandal 4 years ago

Mark Zuckerberg takes out series of full-page newspaper ads to apologise over his role in data harvesting scandal

"You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014."

Mark Zuckerberg has taken out full page adverts in several major UK and US newspapers to apologise for his role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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This is the second time that the Facebook founder has admitted that his company failed to protect the privacy of its users since The Observer revealed on 17 March that the UK political consultancy firm was able to illegally harvest the data of 50 million Facebook users in 2014

"We have a responsibility to protect your information," he wrote in the advertisement, which appeared in newspapers including the Guardian, Observer, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. "If we can't, we don't deserve it."

Failing to mention the name Cambridge Analytica, Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan's personality quiz or any specific details, the letter was suitably vague and condescending in how it started, by saying: "You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014."

Admitting that Facebook "didn't do more at the time", he insisted that despite this "breach of trust" that the company is taking the necessary steps to ensure there is no repeat of this incident.

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"We've already stopped apps like this from getting so much information. Now we're limiting the data apps get when you sign in using Facebook.

"We're also investigating every single app that had access to large amounts of data before we fixed this. We expect there are others. And when we find them, we will ban them and tell everyone affected."

The CEO added that users will be reminded as to which apps they have given access to information, in order to enable them the opportunity to remove those, which they do not want to use anymore.

Signing off by thanking users for "believing in this community," he insisted: "I promise to do better for you."

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The apology was largely a re-hash of a lengthy Facebook post Zuckerberg released days after the controversy broke, in which he assured users that Facebook was changing the way it shared data with third-party applications.

He also pledged that Facebook will investigate and audit apps that accessed large amounts of data from prior to changes made to their platform in 2014, and said it will inform users if their personally identifiable information was misused by app developers.

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