Zuckerberg tells EU he’s ‘sorry’ for Facebook’s privacy missteps

BRUSSELS- “Sorry” no longer seems to be the hardest word for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who offered European Union lawmakers his latest mea culpa for the social network’s role in a privacy scandal that tarnished his company’s reputation.

With the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal just being over a month, Zuckerberg has given another  apology for his company’s recent mistakes during two grueling days of US congressional hearings. However Zuckerberg had less time to respond to members of the European Parliament who demanded answers,  after 2.7 million European Facebook users were compromised by political data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Zuckerberg repeated in front of the EU assembly in Brussels, Zuckerberg the same thing in front of many audiences lately, that his company didn’t take a broad enough view of its responsibility for user data, fake news and foreign interference in elections and that he is sorry for that.

His comments were streamed over the internet, as he sit through the EU assembly, “It’s also 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.”

The data breach scandal affected as many as 87 million Facebook users and their friends, the information may of been misused by Cambridge Analytica, and this development has been a game changer, as governments across the global seek regulation for data protection and raise awareness about how to secure information.

The European Parliament’s powers are limited to scrutinising draft legislation, its members, along with the European Commission, the EU’s executive agency, have used the scandal as a reminder of why tough new EU privacy rules kicking in at the end of next week are justified.

Tuesday’s events had been scheduled to take part behind closed doors however that plan was dumped out after strong criticism by EU officials such as EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, who is in charge of overseeing the new legislation, which gives regulators the power to levy massive fines for violating tougher privacy principles.

Zuckerberg spent about 10 hours testifying in front of the US Congress in April but his EU appearance was just over an hour.

European Parliament will separately organise a hearing with Facebook representatives to analyse the data protection and the potential impact on the election process.

Photo Credit- Bloomberg

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