Facebook says data leak to Cambridge Analytica much wider than estimated
In a blogpost on Wednesday, the social media website’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said data of up to 87 million people had been improperly shared.
Facebook on Wednesday announced that the data breach to British firm Cambridge Analytica had impacted 37 million more people than earlier believed, with the total number of users affected now at a staggering 87 million. Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer made the announcement shortly before the social media platform’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said that the company was learning from its mistakes and that no one would be fired.
The previous estimate was based on an investigation conducted by The New York Times and Britain’s The Observer.
The social media company has been facing tremendous criticism after it was found that they were aware that Cambridge Analytica had been harvesting the data of Facebook users for years. Cambridge Analytica was initially accused of using the information of 50 million Facebook users to bolster US President Donald Trump’s campaign before the 2016 election.
On Wednesday, Schroepfer outlined nine steps the company was planning to take to restrict data access in a blogpost. Soon after, Zuckerberg addressed a press conference where he accepted blame for the data leak, but reiterated that he was the best person to lead the company.
Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook should have been more careful in its monitoring of third-party app developers like the one that Cambridge Analytica hired in 2014, Reuters reported.
“When you are building something like Facebook that is unprecedented in the world, there are going to be things that you mess up,” Zuckerberg said. “Knowing what I know today, clearly we should have done more.” The social media firm’s chief executive officer said it would take Facebook around two years to restrict data access to third-party app developers.
Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before the United States House Commerce Committee on April 11 on his “company’s use and protection of user data”.