There might be more breaches of Facebook users’ personal data even as the social media network struggles with sharp criticism over its data leak scandal, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s second-in-command said.
In an interview to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, social media platform’s Facebook’s chief operating officer indicating that the company is doing audits related to the alleged data acquired and used in elections in the UK and the U.S. by London-based political research firm Cambridge Analytica said, “I am not going to sit here and say that we’re not going to find more because we are.”
Sandberg underlined that the social media giant “cared about privacy all along,” adding, “But I think we got the balance wrong,” she told Guthrie. “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.”
While accentuating the importance of user data, Sandberg admitted that user data is the lifeblood of Facebook, and said users would have to pay for it if they do not want to be subjected to data-based advertising.
No sooner the interview was aired, the social media giant was compelled to issue a clarification and said, the company does not offer a pay model for Facebook and that the COO spoke in hypothetical terms.
When Guthrie questioned Sandberg why Facebook "took so long” to address the Cambridge Analytica data breach, which was first reported in 2015, Zuckerberg’s shot-back by saying, “We thought that the data had been deleted.” However, Sandberg conceded that the social media leader should have come clean sooner and admitted that Facebook “should have” notified users of the breach.
Sandberg’s remarks are significant as they come days before Facebook’s billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before U.S. Congress next week amidst the fallout from the data scandal.