Zuckerberg Finally Speaks 😲

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Zuck says my bad

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg finally addressed the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that has embroiled Facebook. In a FB post, he acknowledged that FB made mistakes that led to the misuse of user data - calling it a “breach of trust” - and outlined actions Facebook will take to prevent another fiasco.

What's his plan?

  1. Review past data usage of 3rd-party apps similar to Cambridge Analytica
  2. Limit apps’ access to user data moving forward
  3. Better communicate to users what data is shared with apps

The Reaction

Zuckerberg didn’t specifically say if there were other misuses of data in the past. He also didn't apologize. Some stood by Zuck and his response, while others were not so impressed.


Anti-Zuck:

CNN: Facebook has a problem not even Mark Zuckerberg can solve

Yahoo Finance: The leadership hole at Facebook

The anti-Zuck side really thinks Mark screwed the pooch on this one. These folks believe FB is at fault for allowing the data misuse to occur. They believe the delayed response from Zuckerberg and lack of an explicit apology are signs of arrogance. Some even suggest that Zuckerberg is promising things he cannot deliver. They’re not optimistic that such a big platform with tons of partners and billions of users can prevent future data scandals.

Pro-Zuck:

NY Post: Sorry: Facebook was never 'free'

Washington Post: Let's take a deep breath about Facebook's "breach of trust" 

The pro-Zuck side doesn’t think FB really did anything wrong here. Just as TV viewers sit through commercials to watch their favorite show, FB users have to be OK with their data being used if they want access to FB - there's no free lunch! And, yes, Cambridge Analytica misused FB’s platform, but when FB discovered the violation in 2015, they pulled the app and had the data destroyed (or so they thought). The Zuck’s response was fine, they say, because he isn't directly to blame.


Grading Zuck

There’s no doubt that Zuckerberg’s delayed response to this story was a miss - he should have said something sooner, with an apology. However, he and FB did take steps years ago to limit the impact of the Cambridge Analytica data violation and prevent similar incidents. The question comes down to: Can FB build policies and security features that prevent incidents like this and regain enough user trust to repair the damage?

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