data mining

Mark Zuckerberg apologises to European Parliament for data breach, fake news on Facebook

He agreed that his social media platform had been ‘too slow’ to identify that there was Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg apologised to the European Parliament on Tuesday for a data breach scandal and for failing to control fake news on his social media platform. However, several members of the European Parliament were not satisfied with his response as they felt he dodged questions, according to AFP.

Zuckerberg’s testimony in Brussels was live-streamed after he agreed to the webcast on Monday. He had earlier asked for closed-doors testimony. The Facebook chief will go to Paris on Wednesday – he has already answered questions in the United States Congress last month in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The data breach involved harvesting private information of 87 million Facebook users by the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Zuckerberg agreed that Facebook had been “too slow” to identify that there was Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections. However, the company was now working with governments during elections, and “found and took down more than 30,000 fake accounts” before elections in France last year, he said.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook had brought in new features to connect people, but it had become clear in the last two years that they “haven’t done enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm”.

“And that goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people’s information,” he added. “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility. That was a mistake, and I’m sorry for it.”

Zuckerberg promised that Facebook would invest more to protect users. “It’s going to take time to work through all of the changes we must make,” he said. “But I’m committed to getting it right, and to making the significant investments needed to keep people safe.”

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