Facebook's Zuckerberg apologizes to EU lawmakers over data leak

In his opening remarks, Zuckerberg said it had "become clear over the last couple of years that we haven't done enough to prevent the tools we've built from being used for harm as well."

By REUTERS
May 22, 2018 20:34
2 minute read.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to European Union lawmakers for a massive data leak, May 22, 2018 (Reuters)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to European Union lawmakers for a massive data leak, May 22, 2018 (Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

BRUSSELS - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to European Union lawmakers on Tuesday for a massive data leak, in his latest attempt to draw a line under a scandal that has rocked the world's biggest social media network.

Zuckerberg agreed to meet leaders of the European Parliament to answer questions about how political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly got hold of the personal data of 87 million Facebook users, including up to 2.7 million in the EU.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


In his opening remarks, Zuckerberg said it had "become clear over the last couple of years that we haven't done enough to prevent the tools we've built from being used for harm as well."

"Whether it's fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people’s information, we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibilities. That was a mistake, and I’m sorry."

His comments, sitting at a circular table with EU Parliament leaders, dressed in a suit, tie and white shirt, echo an apology last month to US lawmakers.

But questions remain over how Facebook let the leak happen and whether it is doing enough to prevent a recurrence.

Zuckerberg's appearance in Brussels comes three days before tough new EU rules on data protection take effect. Companies will be subject to fines of up to 4 percent of global turnover for breaching them.

Zuckerberg stressed Facebook's commitment to Europe, where it will employ 10,000 people by the end of the year, he said.

"I believe deeply in what we're doing. And when we address these challenges, I know we'll look back and view helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force here in Europe and around the world," he said.

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has suspended 200 apps from its platforms as it investigates third-party apps that have access to large quantities of user data.

Cambridge Analytica and its British parent, SCL Elections Ltd, have declared bankruptcy and closed down.

Zuckerberg said investments in security would significantly impact Facebook's profitability, but "keeping people safe will always be more important than maximizing our profits."

Some European officials want a tougher line on big technology firms, however.

Manfred Weber, leader of the center-right in the European Parliament and a German ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, asked Zuckerberg why Facebook shouldn't be broken up as a monopoly.

Facebook's compliance with the new EU data rules will be closely watched, as will its efforts to tackle the spread of fake news ahead of European Parliamentary elections next year.

After plunging when the data leak scandal broke in March, Facebook shares have recovered, helped by stronger-than-expected quarterly results.

Zuckerberg will go on to meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday but has so far declined to appear in front of British lawmakers.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
November 13, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg joins 'Secret Tel Aviv' Facebook group

By AMY SPIRO