There might be more breaches of Facebook users’ personal data even as the social media network grapples with acute criticism over its data leak scandal. Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operation Officer (CEO) at Facebook and second in command after founder-owner Mark Zuckerberg, said that the company is doing audits, but cautioned that more data breaches could surface. “I am not going to sit here and say that we’re not going to find more because we are,” Sandberg said in an interview to NBC.
She also hinted that since user data is the lifeblood of Facebook, users would have to pay for it if they do not want to be subjected to data-based advertising.
After the interview was aired, however, the social media company clarified that it does not offer a pay model for Facebook and that the CEO was only speaking in hypothetical terms.
Sandberg emphasized that the social media giant “cared about privacy all along.”
“But I think we got the balance wrong,” she said, adding, “I think we were very idealistic and not rigorous enough and then there’s the possible misuse. What we are focused on is making sure those possible use cases get shut down.”
Last month, a whistleblower who previously worked for Cambridge Analytica came forward to claim that the British-based firm had used a third-party app to obtain private information from more than 50 million Facebook profiles without the users’ knowledge.
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Later, it emerged that the firm had accessed the information of as many as 87 million people. When asked why the social media company “took so long” to acknowledge the data breach, first reported in 2015, the CEO said that the company was under the impression that the data been deleted because “they gave us assurances, and it wasn’t until other people told us it wasn’t true.”
She said the company should have come clean sooner and admitted that data may have been breached instead of waiting two years, but she rejected the idea that Facebook officials were trying to hide what happened, the NBC report said.
She admitted that Facebook “should have” notified users of the breach. Sandberg’s remarks come days before Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before Congress next week amidst the fallout from the data scandal.