In the wake of the brewing scandal over political data firm Cambridge Analytica stealing information from 50 million profiles from Facebook, and Facebook’s attempt to get ahead of it, the company’s usually highly visible CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has vanished from public view. He’s now re-emerged, with a statement in hand about the scandal.
The statement is both a timeline of how Analytica got the data, and a statement of how Facebook will prevent these breaches in the future, including restricting access to data after three months, auditing any apps that may have misused data before Facebook put in safeguards, and that the company will offer a more refined tool to purge old apps and deny access to your data from other apps.
The main question is whether that will be good enough. Zuckerberg states that Facebook closed off the kind of data Cambridge Analytica stole with changes nearly four years ago, and yet, years later, that data theft is still an issue. Similarly, Zuckerberg’s statement notes, repeatedly, that Facebook simply has no idea who’s doing what with their data, and that the company only learns of misuse via journalists and reports. That’s unlikely to let Zuckerberg off the hook with politicians or users demanding to know why this happened, and his note mentions nothing about redressing what appears to be a fairly serious security flaw. Zuckerberg will be visiting CNN at 9 pm EST tonight to clarify further. But it’s unlikely to be the last time he has to do so.