After five days of silence, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is addressing new criticism about privacy issues. Recent reports describe how Cambridge Analytica used data from about 50 million FB users without their permission, possibly to influence voters during the 2016 presidential campaign. Although some users gave permission for their information to be shared, their "friends" didn't, and this gave developers enormous amount of data about people's preferences. In addition, Cambridge claimed it had deleted data in 2014, but new reports indicate it did not.
Now Zuckerberg is visible in the media and has issued a statement that included the company's responsibility and failings:
We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.
He also told CNN, "I'm really sorry that this happened." He promised to limit developers' access to data in the future.
Facebook also published a full-page newspaper ad in the New York Times on March 25.
- How does this situation represent issues of integrity and trust?
- Read Zuckerberg's full statement. Which parts do you find most and least convincing?
- How is the statement organized? Is this the best approach, or could other organizational strategies have worked better?
- Assess Zuckerberg's writing style. Which principles of business writing are followed, and which are not?