Sometimes sorry just isn't enough, that's evidently what Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO is learning the hard way. Zuckerberg issued a full-page newspaper ad in the Wall Street Journal and other papers profusely apologizing for the result of the Cambridge Analytica data breach. Since news of that came out, legislators in the EU, UK and US have been interested in speaking with him in regards to the situation.
Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, along with six UK newspapers featured prominent, full-page ads with Zuckerberg's apology on behalf of Facebook along with a promise to do better in the future. After news that 50 million Facebook users' data was leaked via the app yourdigitallife Zuckerberg has been mostly silent up until these ads which represent a formal apology as well as promise towards the future.
<quote>You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014. This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.</quote>
According to recent polls in the USA and Germany, consumers aren't necessarily sure that sorry is enough. Reuters reports that the level of consumer trust and fears related to privacy concerns and impact on society may outweigh any amount of apologies, no matter how heartfelt (or expensive). Less than half of US citizens polled believe Facebook would be willing to obey US privacy laws, this according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. A survey published in Germany's Bild am Sonntag reports that some 60% of Germans are concerned about the negative role Facebook could have on the democratic process and society as a whole.
Another poll conducted by Axios found Facebook's favorability had dropped, 28 points since October of last year, from a rating of 33 to 5. Dramatic, but not so dramatic as the $10 billion in worth Mark Zuckerberg lost last week, which is still dwarfed by the $60 billion in value Facebook as a whole lost last week. As #deletefacebook trends at the Twitter social media platform (which has not had the best week itself) it appears that sorry may not be enough to change consumers' minds.
Quartz related what Steve Jobs shared with an audience regarding privacy as Zuckerberg sat in the audience waiting his turn to speak:
<blockquote>Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data.</blockquote>
The full text of the ad is found below. Too little, too late? Only time will tell:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Facebook has full-page ads signed by Mark Zuckerberg in UK newspapers today to apologise for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CambridgeAnalytica?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CambridgeAnalytica</a> scandal.<br><br>The phrase “You’ll need more then that my little hombre” comes to mind. <a href="https://t.co/v0zyEuTFh9">pic.twitter.com/v0zyEuTFh9</a></p>— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) <a href="https://twitter.com/MattNavarra/status/977879790773592064?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 25, 2018</a></blockquote>
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We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.
You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014. This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
We’ve already stopped apps like this from getting so much information. Now we’re limiting the data apps get when you sign in using Facebook.
We’re also investigating every single app that had access to large amounts of data before we fixed this. We expect there are others. And when we find them, we will ban them and tell everyone affected.
Finally, we’ll remind you of which apps you’ve given access to your information — so you can shut off the ones you don’t want anymore.
Thank you for believing in this community. I promise to do better for you.