Facebook COO cautions that more data breaches could be uncovered
Sheryl Sandberg denied that Facebook tried to cover up the data breach and admitted that the company should have acknowledged the breach earlier
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operation Officer at Facebook, speaking about the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal at Facebook, cautioned that more data breaches could arise as the company conducts audits.
According to media reports Sandberg said, “I am not going to sit here and say that we are not going to find more (data breaches) because we are." She also implied that users may have to pay (for the service) in the future if they do not want to be subjected to data based advertising, although Facebook later clarified that this was meant hypothetically, since it presently does not offer a pay model.
She also said that Facebook has always taken data privacy seriously, but noted that that the company was “very idealistic and not rigorous enough” in relation to the breach. She said “What we are focused on is making sure those possible use cases get shut down.”
It was discovered last month that a whistle-blower, who worked for the UK based Cambridge Analytica, claimed that the firm had used a third-party app to gather private information from approximately 50 million users. However, it was later revealed that such information from up to 87 million users was collected, and that the breach first came to light in 2015.
When asked why it took two years before Facebook acknowledged the breach, Sandberg admitted that the company should have done so earlier and also should have informed users about the data breach, but she denied that Facebook tried to cover up it.
Facebook has stepped up its efforts to make the Facebook ecosystem more secure against data breaches and possible misuse. Last week, the company announced that advertisers who wish to run political campaign ads on Facebook will need to confirm their identity and location. In addition, advertisers will be prohibited from running political ads or electoral issue-based ads until they are authorised.
Sandberg’s clarification on the matter comes days before Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before Congress amidst the controversy of the Cambridge Analytica data breach.
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