MANILA, Philippines – Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday, March 21, vowed that the social media platform will keep working to make users feel safe, following a data scandal that involved the hijacking of personal data from millions of users.
"You deserve to have your information protected – and we'll keep working to make sure you feel safe on Facebook. Your trust is at the core of our service. We know that and we will work to earn it," Sandberg said on her post, as she shared Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg's first public comments on the issue.
Echoing Zuckerberg, Sandberg acknowledged that what happened "was a major violation of people's trust."
"I deeply regret that we didn't do enough to deal with it," she added.
The scandal erupted when a whistleblower revealed that British data consultant Cambridge Analytica had created psychological profiles of 50 million Facebook users via a personality prediction app, created by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan.
The app was downloaded by 270,000 people, but also scooped up their friends' data without consent – as was possible under Facebook's rules at the time.
Facebook said it discovered last week that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as it had certified.
The Verge earlier said US President Donald Trump's campaign hired Cambridge Analytica in June 2016 to run data operations for the campaign.
The social media giant had already announced the suspension of Strategic Communication Laboratories, including its data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, for policy violations pertaining to data retention and collection.
The scandal has prompted calls for investigation on both sides of the Atlantic. Cambridge Analytica, meanwhile, "strongly denied" allegations it harvested data on 50 million Facebook users for Trump's presidential campaign. – Rappler.com