My data too harvested, sold by Cambridge Analytica: Zuckerberg

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

File photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Deposing before US lawmakers, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told that his personal data was also harvested and sold by Cambridge Analytica. The founder of the social media major also said that he intends to initiate legal action against the British firm accused of stealing personal information and using it for political purposes.

Zuckerberg replied “yes” when asked if his personal data was included in the information sold to the “malicious third parties”.

Cambridge Analytica had compromised personal information of approximately 87 million users, half a million of whom were from India.

The American people are concerned about how Facebook protects and profits from its users’ data, lawmakers said. Beginning this Monday, Facebook has started to notify those users whose data have been breached.

Responding to a volley of questions, Zuckerberg, said it would take some time to work through all the changes the company needs to make.

“But I am committed to getting this right, and that includes the basic responsibility of protecting people’s information, which we failed to do with Cambridge Analytica,” he said.

He also said he was getting to the bottom of what the UK-based firm did and will tell everyone who may have been affected.

“What we know now is that Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained some information about millions of Facebook members by buying it from an app developer that people had shared it with,” he said.

“This information was generally information that people share publicly on their profile pages, like their name and profile picture and the list of pages that they follow. When we first contacted Cambridge Analytica, they told us that they had deleted the data. And then, about a month ago, we heard a new report that suggested that this was not true,” he said.

Now the Facebook is working with governments in the US, the UK and around the world to do a full audit of what they’ve done and to make sure that they get rid of any data that they still have.

Responding to a question, he told lawmakers that he intended to initiate legal action against the firm accused of stealing personal data and using it for political purposes in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

Also, the Facebook is now investigating every single app that had access to a large amount of people’s information on Facebook in the past to make sure that no other app developers are out there misusing data,.

“If we find someone that improperly used data, we’re going to ban them from our platform and tell everyone affected,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)