Is “Sorry” Enough? Facebook Built Empire on Harvesting Personal Information With Little Oversight

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify today on Capitol Hill amid the burgeoning scandal about how the voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of more than 87 million Facebook users, without their permission, in efforts to sway voters to support President Donald Trump. In prepared remarks ahead of his testimony today, he writes, “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. … It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.” The company has also unveiled new privacy tools ahead of Zuckerberg’s testimony today. For more, we speak with David Dayen, a contributor to The Intercept and columnist for The New Republic. His recent pieces include “Ban Targeted Advertising” and “The US Government Is Finally Scrambling to Regulate Facebook.”

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify today on Capitol Hill amid the burgeoning scandal about how the voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of more than 87 million Facebook users, without their permission, in efforts to sway voters to support President Donald Trump. In his prepared testimony for today, Zuckerberg says, quote, “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. … It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.” This is Zuckerberg speaking on CNN last month.

MARK ZUCKERBERG: This was a major breach of trust. And I’m really sorry that this happened. You know, we have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data. And if we can’t do that, then we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. So, our responsibility now is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

AMY GOODMAN: The company has also unveiled new privacy tools ahead of Zuckerberg’s…

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