Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is going on an apology tour as the social networking giant continues to face fallout over the leak of Facebook user information to data consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
The New York Times and U.K.'s Observer has reported that Cambridge Analytica had kept personal information of 50 million Facebook users without their permission, 30 million of them with enough details to match users to other records and build profiles of them.
He is to appear before a USA congressional panel next week to address privacy issues.
"We did not think enough about the abuse cases and now we're taking really firm steps across the board".
Facebook did ask Cambridge Analytica to delete the data, but didn't bother to make sure it had actually been deleted. "I'm really sorry for that". While Ms. Sandberg didn't elaborate on the matter, her comments strongly indicate that Facebook isn't considering a premium subscription tier for users who want to avoid having any of their data collected at all. But with regard to the steps Facebook has so far taken to better protect people's privacy, Sandberg readily admitted these should have been done years ago.
Sandberg also touched on another contentious issue for Facebook: the role it will play in the upcoming elections and in the USA political system as a whole. "Second, we'll confirm each address by mailing a letter with a unique access code that only their specific Facebook account can use, and, third, advertisers will also have to disclose what candidate, organization or business they represent".
"I think what really matters is that we learn from what's happened".
Cambridge Analytica has said the data was destroyed and was not used in the 2016 White House race.
Sandberg, who joined Facebook in 2008 from Google, has been largely silent since the privacy scandal broke but she gave interviews on Thursday and Friday to National Public Radio and NBC's "Today Show".