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Data misuse: We haven't done enough, says Facebook's Zuckerberg in Brussels

Mark Zuckerberg apologised to European Union lawmakers on Tuesday for a massive data leak, in his latest attempt to draw a line under a scandal that has rocked the world's biggest social media network

Reuters  |  Brussels 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives at European Parliament in Brussels
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives at European Parliament in Brussels

boss apologised to European Union lawmakers on Tuesday for a massive data leak, in his latest attempt to draw a line under a scandal that has rocked the world's biggest social media network.

Zuckerberg agreed to meet leaders of the European Parliament to answer questions about how political consultancy improperly got hold of the personal data of 87 million users, including up to 2.7 million in the EU.

In his opening remarks, Zuckerberg said it had “become clear over the last couple of years that we haven’t done enough to prevent the tools we’ve built from being used for harm as well.” “Whether it's fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people’s information, we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibilities. That was a mistake, and I’m sorry.”

His comments, sitting at a circular table with EU Parliament leaders, dressed in a suit, tie and white shirt, echo an apology last month to U.S. lawmakers.

But questions remain over how let the leak happen and whether it is doing enough to prevent a recurrence.

Zuckerberg’s appearance in comes three days before tough new EU rules on data protection take effect. Companies will be subject to fines of up to 4 per cent of global turnover for breaching them.

Zuckerberg stressed Facebook’s commitment to Europe, where it will employ 10,000 people by the end of the year, he said. “I believe deeply in what we're doing. And when we address these challenges, I know we'll look back and view helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force here in Europe and around the world,” he said.

Since the scandal, Facebook has suspended 200 apps from its platforms as it investigates third-party apps that have access to large quantities of user data.

First Published: Wed, May 23 2018. 00:32 IST
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