Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told NBC News’ Savanah Guthrie that the company is likely to find more data breaches after the Cambridge Analytica controversy.
Sandberg faced a grilling on the Today show, ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress next week.
“It’s a huge breach,” Guthrie said. “Was it greed? Was it incompetence? When you think big picture, what went wrong?”
“What we weren’t focused enough on, was protecting,” Sandberg contended. “Because that same data that you enable to use social experiences can also be misused.”
Guthrie pressed Sandberg on why it took so long for Facebook to take the serious steps it announced this week, when the company was made aware that data firm Cambridge Analytica had harvested user data back in December 2015.
“You were right that we could have done this two and a half years ago,” Sandberg conceded.
“So why didn’t you?” Guthrie asked.
Sandberg explained that Cambridge Analytica assured them the user data had all been deleted (it had not), and that Facebook trusted them.
“We should have checked,” Sandberg said.
Guthrie continued to press Sandberg on why Facebook didn’t tell users their data was being illicitly harvested by data firms like Cambridge Analytica — until a whistleblower revealed the scandal two years later — saying “it feels like Facebook was trying to get away with it.”
“I don’t think that’s true,” Sandberg said, incredibly unconvincingly.
Sandberg also said on Today that it was possible there were other data breaches similar to Cambridge Analytica’s, and that Facebook is now conducting an audit to find out.
“We cared about privacy all along, but I think we got the balance wrong,” Sandberg said. “There’s the good cases for sharing and 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. I’m not going to sit here and say that we’re not going to find more because we are.”
Watch above via NBC News.
[image via screengrab]
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