Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, five days after the situation first came to light.
The 33-year-old turned to his own platform Wednesday to post an intricate timeline of exactly what happened with the data company, as well as the steps Facebook will take moving forward.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't, then we don't deserve to serve you,” he said in the statement.
Zuckerberg reiterated the fact that Facebook changed its policies in 2014 “to limit the data apps could access.” That of course includes the one Cambridge created. He went on to say this kind of abuse would not have happened today.
Going forward, Facebook will “conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity” and reduce the amount of data to which third party developers have access.
However, “he failed to empathize with the people that have been hurt by this unfortunate case,” Rasmus Houggard, author of “The Mind of a Leader,” told Cheddar.
“The case has ruined much trust in Facebook, and the legal and technical approach the post is taking does nothing to meet the people that have lost trust.
“In short, he falls in the trap many other leaders do when under pressure: only addressing the case rather than also including the human side of it.”
Zuckerberg’s extended period of silence in the face of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and his handling of questions about Russia’s use of the platform during the 2016 presidential election shone a negative light on his leadership capabilities.
Houggard thinks perhaps Zuckerberg’s young age is partly to blame for his aloofness.
“We’ve found that age is correlated with compassion, the ability to lead with other people in mind,” he said. “As people mature in leadership roles, they become more compassionate and more selfless.
“What we know from research is [that], when we are in a position of power for an extended period of time, with success like Zuckerberg’s, we’re basically...losing a little bit of touch with reality.”
Last week, news broke that data company Cambridge Analytica used Facebook to collect data on millions of Americans without their permission. It then sold that information to President Trump’s campaign team during the 2016 election.
Separately, an undercover journalist with Britain’s Channel 4 released video of Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix bragging about his ability to go after politicians with sex tapes and bribes.
On Tuesday, Nix was suspended from his position as CEO.