During an interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS NewsHour, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg admitted mistakes and discussed plans for improving users' privacy. Sandberg didn't shy away from tough questions about Facebook's role in protecting users' information and admitted that the site had an important role during the 2016 presidential election, at least to get people to register to vote.
On whether Cambridge Analytica still has data, Sandberg admitted, "We were given assurances by them years ago that they deleted the data. We should’ve followed up. That’s on us. We are trying to do a forensic audit to find out what they have." She also said the company had "under-invested" in ways to protect users' information.
Viewers may notice that Sandberg repeatedly says versions of "That's a very good question." This could be a tactic to delay responding, or it could be that Woodruff asks good questions! Sandberg would be the first to acknowledge that many of the questions are ones the company leaders are asking themselves at this point. As pioneers, Facebook executives are reconsidering how people use the site and for what purpose.
- Assess Sandberg's presentation skills. How well does she deliver her ideas and address questions?
- What principles of persuasion does Sandberg demonstrate in the interview?
- What else, if anything, could Sandberg have said during this interview to rebuild trust in the company?