Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he accepts liability for the social network’s fizzle to protect private data and prevent manipulation of the platform, according to testimony released on Monday on the eve of his first Congressional appearance.
“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry,” Zuckerberg said in his written testimony released by a House of Representatives panel.
“I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”
Zuckerberg was set to testify before senators yesterday and a House panel today amid a firestorm over the hijacking of data on millions of Facebook users by the British firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked with Donald Trump’s campaign.
In his written comments, Zuckerberg addressed Facebook as”an idealistic and optimistic company” and said: “We focused on all the good that connecting people can bring.”
But he acknowledged that “it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy.”
Zuckerberg recounted a list of steps announced by Facebook aimed at resisting the misuse of data by third parties like Cambridge Analytica, and noted that other applications were also being investigated to determine if anything wrong might be found.
He said, “This was a major breach of trust. And I’m really sorry that this happened. You know, we have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data. And if we can’t do that, then we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. So, our responsibility now is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
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